Students: Their own “web” of thought

Students: Their own “web” of thought…

I have been wondering what to add to this blog of mine and, well, to be honest, it takes time to add content… Time to develop content and make it interesting. And to a more difficult degree that comes from reading others’ content. As a teacher and a coach, the Spring is hectic to say the least.

From the MACUL conference last week until now I have been wondering how to fit in reading blogs, to adding content to my blog, to then encorporating blogging into my classroom curriculum. It has been difficult to even attempt one of these endeavors. Still the thought lingers and this is how today’s blog came…

I went to school this morning (yes, it is Saturday morning…) and am spending my 80th hour here… I decided to abandon all hope of accomplishing anything RELATIVE and read blogs instead. To my amazement, what should appear? But a little ole’ blog that rang answers in my ears.

For those of us NEW to blogs, David Warlick’s blog about how and when to incorporate blogging was great to read. It helps plan out how to teach students the importance of publishing and the quality of writing necessary for publishing. Most of my students at some point have had a blog through the illustrious “Xanga” site. However, I have found reading them that the writing is poor, the topics are awful, and the content is flat and lame to say the least. They are developing communication skills with no direction, no clear standard. Or they believe that “true communication” is now a bunch of links and pictures.

I have now come to understand my job as an English teacher as something different. I believe that these students are having a tough time communicating through technology, since technology most days is not the means of communication in our school.

It is hard to convince students their voice counts. I grew up in a high school where we had sit-ins and meetings and took care of business. I see students, not as that different, just with different priorities. My biggest fear with every new agenda, with every new war, with every budget cut and hike is when the time comes for our kids to stand up and say SOMETHING… They won’t know how to connect what they’re thinking with something tangible and real… They will have learned opinions without back-up count (xanga) and they will lose the good fight to keep things running smoothly.

I am seeing a trend that through blogs students could recreate the web of thought for themselves and visually see how they thread ideas together.

Maybe this isn’t really worth “2 cents”, but things have got to start adding up somewhere.

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