Saturday, January 06, 2007

Am I Nuts?

I have struggled with what to do with last year's third grade bloggers for a long time - nearly a year. I extended the school year, and let them keep blogging through the summer of 2006. This year I have done in-house inservices, offered individual assistance to their teachers, have encouraged those kids to ask their new teachers about getting a blog going for them (and volunteering to help other kids in class learn how to do it all).

It's January, 2007. I do not believe those kids will get a blog going this year. This is difficult to write, because it might seem like I'm being critical of my colleagues - like, why aren't they blogging with their kids? Truth is, I understand. Our teacher plates are way too full already. One more new thing with a steep initial learning curve.... not likely to happen, especially if it's optional.

I've checked into getting their blogs automatically switched over to their new teachers. I'm getting nowhere with that. Here's what I have decided to do:

  1. ask their new teachers if it's ok for me to set up new blogs for them - on my current classroom blog (in an alumni area)
  2. if that's ok, ask their parents (I have all their emails) if they will give their permission for their blogs to be open, with me as their moderator/teacher
  3. set up an alumni section on my classroom blog for last year's students.
  4. write an initial post for each of them with a hyperlink to their last year's blog

This is more work, for sure. I am certain a dozen or so (some even now at different schools) will jump at the chance to blog again.

Am I nuts? Naw, I just see those kids, I still hear their (online) voices, and I want to give it back to them. Wish me luck.

3 comments:

Clay Burell said...

just a note to say keep up the cause.

is there some blog-hosting solution that would allow them to have access to their blog--ownership of it--regardless of teacher or school permission? does blogmeister allow this? I'm a high school teacher, but am really interested in the different obstacles faced by blogging initiatives in primary school. (My ES principal is watching your blog too--he's interested!)

Jeff Utecht said...

Yeah your nutz! But then again most good teachers are. :) I totally get where you are coming from, but where does it stop. You teach for 5 year with 30 kids in a class...that's like 150 blogs you have to track? You're poor e-mail. I get it though...it's tough when they come to you and say "I liked blogging." or "Can I still have my blog when I leave." Ug...if only they didn't want to learn!

Simply Science said...

Hi Mark,

This is indeed a problem having to pass our students on to other classrooms knowing their blogging capability but being wary of making demands on the new teacher to let them go for it. I had an interesting experience today as we begin our new school year. Last year we had a lot of fun with a class blog at http://mrpbps.learnerblogs.org/ and a number of other associated spaces. Today one of my ex grade 3's came up to greet me with the news that he is going to set up a class blog on behalf of his new teacher for his 2007 grade. I smiled and thought how neat but appreciated the traumas that might descend on the poor teacher, (who is a very good teacher willing to have a go but severely over taxed as far as work). After school I looked in at her room and mentioned meeting Josh to which she said he is persistent, (this is only the 2nd day back). I offered to help her out in setting up a grade space. I will blog about it at my space at http://johnp.wordpress.com/