Blogging About Student Blogging (Week 10)
After viewing Lisa’s slidecast and Jim’s Elluminate session, I was all excited to figure out a way to engage my students in the blogging process. Nevermind that I just started blogging for this course and don’t really have much experience in the “blog-0-sphere” at all. I think, at first, students would be reluctant to the idea of creating their own blogs (just as I was for this course), but I can really see the value in creating community, and providing students with a “less formal” was to practice their writing skills. I have been against using Twitter mainly because of the character limit and the “text speak” that is used in posts, but I think a blog would be useful to students.
I’m curious if anyone has used the Blackboard Blog function before? I know Jim said in his session that he has not tried the blogging function in Blackboard. I think if I were to have my students blog, I would actually like to try in out in the Blackboard setting. That just gives students a central location where all course material can be found and they are all pretty familiar with the Blackboard format. I know it wouldn’t allow public access to student blogs, but I think for my course, that may be best.
When my student’s work on their semester-long Lifestyle Wellness Project, they have to keep a log of their progress over a 6-week period. I have always given students the option to use a blog for their Project Log, but maybe 1 0r 2 students actually take me up on that (out of 145 students). I think having students create a Blackboard blog where they can keep track of their progress may be a great benefit to both me and my students. I’d be able to check up on how my students are doing by viewing their blogs and they’d be able to get comments and feedback from classmates as well….as long as the Blackboad blog functions the same way as a typical blog. The privacy of it being in Blackboard is a benefit for my students because some of them are working on very sensistive personal issues and may not want the entire world to see what they’re doing. My next step is to take a look at the Blackboard tutorials and figure out how I can get the Blog function to work for me.
This week also had us look at Engrade and Google Sites. I liked Engrade, but I don’t think I’ll use it only because the Blackboard Grade Center is so handy and easy to use already. I did have fun with Google Sites and felt that it was fairly easy to navigate. I started to create a mock up of an intro page for my course here. Maybe I am becoming a “techie” afterall!