Friday, January 4, 2008

Student-friendly blogs?

My school has a two-week "Midsession" between the fall and spring semesters, during which time we get to teach pretty much anything that we can persuade enough students to sign up for for two hours per day. It's one of those really-too-much-fun-to-get-paid-for things, for sure. I've got a gathering of some 10 students for "Technology for Communication," wherein we'll be reading and writing blogs, playing around with PowerPoint, and maybe - just maybe - creating a simple Podcast, though since I've never ever done that before myself and have no idea how to do it that might be wildly unrealistic. I was thinking it would be fun to teach a course that I'd learn a lot from myself, and for these two weeks anything that the students are enjoying as well as learning something from seems to be okay.

The students' familiarity with technology is going to be all over the place, with some students barely able to use e-mail and others - actually, I have no idea about the other end of the spectrum. My plans are still somewhat vague - in part because I'm half expecting to have to rewrite them in an intensive night after learning about the students during the first class.

One of the first things we'll do is subscribe to a few blogs, and now I'm looking for good reads for high school girls - preferably clustered around a theme or three. I was thinking Study Hacks, Cake Decoration (I used to be somewhat into novelty cakes before starting to teach), and - I don't know about a last theme. My question to the all-wise blogosphere is: what themes or blogs would you recommend for this reader group? I mostly read edublogs of various kinds, with a very small number of political blogs sprinkled in. Not terribly exciting for my students, I'm afraid. Of course, I could delay this part of the course and find out about the students' interests, first - maybe that would be better...?

So - any suggestions (on any aspects of the course, actually)?

5 comments:

J.D. Williams said...

If your not sure about doing a podcast you should look into using Voice Thread (http://www.voicethread.com) You upload a picture then can leave an audio "comment" about the picture. I have my students use it to make a Visual Dictionary. They just added a feature that uses a phone to leave a comment, so you don't even need a microphone. I don't know about the cake decorating blogs though.

H. said...

Thanks for the info! I'll look into that.

Dina said...

Try http://students2oh.org/. These are star students and write highly sophisticated stuff, but it's worth a look.

nwinton said...

I'll second what Dina says... The Students2.0 site is a great place to visit.

Can I also suggest they (and you) have a look at a post written by one of my pupils: A Technology Literate Generation. I think it'd make a good intro to the whole course for them and you...

And finally... I have a number of good student bloggers (aged about 14) that I can put you in touch with if that's of use to you...

You can let me know at: scottishteacher [at] gmail [dot] com

Cheers, and good luck... souds great fun!

H. said...

Thanks, Dinah and Neil - I'll be using both of the sites you mentioned next week!