Thursday, November 30, 2006

more thoughts on blogging

I recently read a blog about the importance of others commenting and reading the material we blog about (click here). Although I couldn't agree more about the importance of feedback, I also wonder about students who are not comfortable sharing their work. This blog mentioned that the teacher is often the only person reading elementary school students' journals. When I was a kid, I personally liked the fact that my teacher was the only person reading my work.

In contrast, blogging allows students to read each other's work and receive valuable comments. While this is extremely important, I wonder about the students who might not want what they write to be publicized. Journaling may be a personal time for students to reflect and share thoughts they may otherwise not want to. While I love the idea of sharing and agree that it spreads new ideas, how do we accomodate those students who prefer to keep their writing to themselves? Yes, these students should learn how to share some of their work, but respecting their privacy is also important. I am particularly concerned about one of my students who is already having many self-esteem issues and family problems, who I think would be much more likely to share his feelings in a personal journal, as opposed to a public blog. Should we give students the opportunity to do both personal journals in class, as well as blog? If so, would doing both take up too much time?

4 comments:

Chris said...

Something I have noticed is that the shy and reserved kids that you might think have a tough time at home tend to be those most willing to express themselves creatively. You can combine your desires for emotive journals if you allow them to be written as stories with different names and the like.

I have been enjoying your blog, keep up the good work!

Yours,

Chris Craft
www.thinkingaboutteaching.com

Kathryn said...

Hi -- Just read your post this a.m. - I can't remember where I read this... but I believe it was a blog entry or blog idea. (May have been Anne Davis
Edublog Insights http://anne.teachesme.com/)

Some teachers allow posts that are posted just to the teacher -- or a combination -- private post for the teacher and then choose how many public posts to publish)

I am really enjoying you blog. Your semester should be winding down soon. Enjoy your winter break!

Kathy Blades

Jeff said...

I think Chris brings up a good point. At the same time does everything have to be published to the web? Or is it OK to leave things in draft form? Just today I deleted 3 things that I started and either my mood changed, or the conversation had moved on. As Kathryn stated, sometimes we think that you have to complete the writing process. Sure once in awhile you have to, but it's OK to start stories, posts, etc and not finish them. When I taught 4&5 grade my students would maybe finish 1 out of 5 stories. Once a week I would give them a story starter, some of them finished it others didn't. It not about the product but about the process. If you know the process of writing then the product will come once the student finds their passion...for me it took 30 years. I still hate to write, but love to blog. :)

Just some thought from China.

Jeff

IMC Guy said...

There are several ways to work around this. If you have a designated time for journaling, the students could have their choice. Maybe some simply want to write in a notebook and share it with a friend or teacher. Others may want to post to a blog. You may also find that some students will want to do both, depending on what they want to write about. I think giving them some choice may bring out the best that they have to offer.