Monday, March 14, 2011

To the Blog Barn!

I love Bulk Barn. When my students visit McGoldblog, I want them to be as excited about it as I am when I go to the Bulk Barn!

Update on McGoldblog:

Feels like it's stalled somehow! We have had a weird couple of weeks, mind you, what with March break and lots of kids absent, not to mention a few days during which internet connections were severely challenged. The result being that there have only been two new posts in the last couple of weeks, and a total of only 3 responses, one of which was mine! That's part of what's making me feel this way.

But I wonder if there's a lack of authentic motivation on the kids' parts. I would so prefer it if they were posting and commenting for some reason other than the fact that I am requiring them to. What if they were driven to, couldn't wait to get their words out there because it was important, or timely, or challenging, or fun?

Maybe I need to get these kids matched up with another class that is blogging, ideally one that is covering more or less the same material. Tweeted about that last week, but I guess I'll have to start calling schools to find one. Charlene commented that she found reading the latest post gave her another point of view besides her teacher's, so imagine what it would be like for them to get that from another teacher's students? Couldn't hurt, might even help.

This and the inherent excitement of going public will surely go a long way to adding motivation, but what else could help?

Blog Barn?!?

Maybe what we blog about needs to be more varied...make it kind of like The Bulk Barn of classblogs! I could sometimes use the blog for something other than the scribing of the lesson, like:
  •  a debate on a topic they can weigh in on. I'm following a blog in which one post has resulted in a firestorm of comments and debate. No one is requiring these people to comment. They are simply compelled to by virtue of their own passion and expertise. You couldn't make them NOT comment!
  • showing a video like the one I showed on Feb 25 about wealth vs life expectancy. Only problem there is that embeds just don't work on the version of wordpress I'm using. Gotta move McGoldblog somewhere that embeds work easily. Any obstacle for me is like 10 for them.
  • showcasing their own work - even if it's just a little voki for fun!
  • introducing a WCYDWT problem.
Or maybe it's a question of how I'm organizing the whole thing. I do find that their posts get so deeply buried so quickly that it makes it unlikely that anyone will make use of this rich material beyond the initial reading. If it was somehow done so that they could see more than one post at a time, like the most recent one on one side and a scrollable window of the rest of them on the other. Don't know if that exists. I'll have to check out other peoples' classblogs. I'll have to FIND some other peoples' classblogs first.

To the google barn!

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