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3 signs that something good is happening in the class blog

November 10, 2010

So more often than not, my whole experiment with class blogging seems like a miserable failure. If you check the activity, you’ll see that I write 90% of the posts, and many of the kids haven’t checked it in weeks. I’ve even asked what I can do to spur interest, and I get replied like “you could require posts/comments for a grade…” Ugh—this makes me want to rage.

But every now and then, there are a few things that make me thing all this frustration is worth it. Here’s 3

  1. The girl who got totally fascinated by the what is this assignments, and ended up looking up the artist/scientist who took the images,finally heard back from him, which was a huge win. She’s thrilled, and it’s propelling her to keep going with her own quest to take microscopic photos of objects around her house.
  2. A long time ago, I posted about a student group that sent an iphone into space attached to a weather balloon. Just yesterday, a student wrote me:

    I’ve already finished all of my corrections so I don’t really have any physics questions. But I was wondering if our class, or a group of people could actually launch an iphone into space. That video seemed really awesome and a fun thing to do. I think we could really make it happen. If you don’t have enough time to organize something like that, if you give me some information about how to get funding and things like that, I would be happy to get a group together and get started on it.

    Awesome! We can make this happen. Though I don’t think I’ll be volunteering my iphone to be the Lakia.

  3. Another student, who recently told me about his amazing ideas for a science fiction novel, decided to post a short excerpt on the front page of the blog about his work. Holy cow—I think this is one of the most courageous things I’ve seen a 15 year old do in recent memory.

So I think I’ll put these down in the win column, and remind myself of these moments next time I think the blog isn’t going anywhere.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 1:52 pm

    It’s always worth it for the few kids it engages!

    Have you tried something more along the line of learning logs?
    http://www.phys.lsu.edu/classes/summer2010/phys6198-1/StudentArticles/BU_Learning_Logs.pdf

    I initially found out about these from a colleague who was introduced to their use in the CPU physics curriculum. Hickman has moved from paper-based to electronic learning logs. Would be perfect for Gdocs or a blog. (The problem with blogs though is drawing diagrams. I guess you could find an online drawing/whiteboard site, get the URL for the image, and post it in a blog that way. Would also be great to take photo of lab set up, etc and embed into doc/blog with annotations.)

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