Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

What is this blog still here for?

Posted: January 2, 2011 in blogging

I began this blog as part of an EVO course I took several years ago.  At the time I was blogging on Blogger, but they wanted us to set up a WordPress blog, so I did.  Eventually I  migrated my other blog to WordPress, but I chose not to combine the two blogs.  I am not sure now what I  thought was the importance of that, but at the time it was an issue.

Since that time I have used this blog sporadically to talk about technology and, more commonly, to document my experiments with different tech tools.  And every time  I do, I wonder why I keep this blog at all.

I think the reason is that I don’t like to eliminate anything that I have posted to the internet.  It seems dishonest, like I am trying to hide something.  And I am not.

So I guess I keep this here as a place to play around, to show different things I have done.  And if I take another course that requires a blog, I will probably try to use this one for that.  So while I won’t post here often, I will be back!

Moving Along is two years old now.  I started it as part of the the 2007 EVO session I did.  For some unknown reason, the first post seems to be somewhat odd, starting out in the middle of a conversation.  And this only makes the 57th post in all that time. Nothing to write home about, is it?  But I have learned a lot here.  And I expect I will continue to learn and to test my learning here.  At least I hope I will!

Sorting out the blogs

Posted: July 2, 2008 in Blogger, blogging

I have finally decided to move Random Thoughts from Blogger to WordPress.

Actually, I decided that I was ready to move all the Random Thoughts posts here because I had always thought I would combine the two blogs.  But I didn’t really want to so I kept putting it off.  Then a while back, I imported what I had in Blogger.  But still I kept posting to Random Thoughts there.

Last night I decided to make the move.  So I imported everything from the old site to this blog.

Then I realized that there was no reason to combine the blogs, really.  With the WordPress dashboard, it is easy to go from one blog to the other.  So I decided to open another blog here as the new home for Random Thoughts.

Then I had to go through all the posts here (more than 800) and try to filter out the Random Thoughts posts so I would be left with only posts that really belonged here.  I am not sure that I did it perfectly.  I may have deleted a few that I shouldn’t have.  But now, at least, this is basically a project blog — an EVO blog or one I could use for any other project.

I am pretty happy to have finally figured this all out.  I only wonder what took me so long!

Another Bloglines gem… Chris makes a point that seems so obvious, I am embarrassed not to have figured it our for myself:

Which leads me to where I am now in my thinking. There are those kids — just like there are those teachers — who will take to the idea of writing to an unknown audience and seeing what happens. But hoping and wishing for the serendipitous moment makes for bad teacher planning, and over the long haul I think it won’t get the vast majority of our students publishing their voices to the world. If we want to see kids embrace the power of communication technologies like blogs and wikis and podcasts, we need to be good teacher-planners. We need to give them reasons to publish. We need to help them see their audience… whether it is using a blogging platform for and art classroom exhibition that other students will critique or bringing in a group of math majors from a college to work with our math students, kids need to understand why they should share their work with the world, and then — once they do — we allow for all the serendipitous moments that so many of us in the edu-blog world have benefitted from to occur.

I have tried to get students to blog, without much success. I always felt the problem was the assignments, but I wasn’t sure why or how.

Chris refers to the work of Darren Kuropatwa, who has his math students blog their classes on a daily basis and interact with mentors via blogs. He also assigns reflective blog posts as part of a test. (You need to listen to the end to hear this assignment.) Darren has been tremendously successful with blogging. I’m continually amazed.

When my students were able to blog, we did a daily scribe post. It was moderately successful. As a matter of fact, looking back over that blog, I think it wasn’t too bad. I had not remembered it being as good as it as. What we never got, though, was commenting. That is what I would like to do differently if I ever get a chance to blog with students again.

On our wiki the next year, I got more student writing. Unfortunately, I have lost access to the Moodle part of the class, so I can’t see their finished products any more, but they wrote on the wiki fairly well. Again, they had real tasks to complete, and that helped. I only had 2 students in each class that semester, so there isn’t as much writing as there might have been.

But back to Chris’ post… We definitely need to plan student blogging and wiki use. My other attempts at student blogging were not nearly as successful because the tasks weren’t appropriate. They were solitary activities that did not require interaction or really promote conversation at all. They were all things that could have been done with paper and pencil with exactly the same result. They did not create a group knowledge base or product.

If we want students to really “get” blogging, we first have to get them “really” blogging.