At first, I thought that blogging was a very new thing for me. Then, I started to think about the "Xanga" days in middle school where my friends and I would write about anything and everything just to be able to write on our "Xanga" pages. It was a step up from our plain, old diaries with the little locks that you actually needed a key to open. Then we had the electronic pocket diaries that you could type in as well; but when we found out we could write in our journals and post it for the world to see, there was no comparison! I can remember coming home from middle school everyday and the first thing I would do was go online and recap the school day. Now that the tables are turned, it is amazing for me to think how much more I would have been engaged if say, we had to go home and write a poem describing the day's events on our "Xanga" page as a homework assignment. Let's face it, we would have been competing to see who could finish the assignment first!
I feel as though the following video is like a compilation of the readings we have been reflecting on the first few weeks of the semester. The thing that I like about this video is that it gives the audience the perspective of 21st century students directly from students. It has been interesting to read about the differences in the ways in which students learn today comparable to years past. I feel as though it has been made obvious that if we, as teachers, want to engage today's students in the classroom, we need to expand the classroom walls. Technology is one of the most important ingredients in expanding these walls in addition to its ability to allow students to connect and collaborate not only with their teacher and classmates, but with teachers and students around the world.
As an aspiring elementary school teacher with a subject specialization in middle school English/Language Arts I think blogging can be a great outlet for students to practice and enhance their critical thinking, creativity, and writing skills. I feel as though students currently view the Internet as a place that they can go to as a safe haven and for leisure. With this being said, it may not be motivating for students to just type up their comparative essay onto a blog site instead of typing it up in Microsoft Word. It would be unfair for us to consider this an incorporation of technology. However, if blogging is linked to student interests and meeting curriculum standards at the same time, I think it could be a very interactive and successful tool for learning.
As stated in the article "Why We Blog," "Don, a technology consultant, called blogs "be-logs" because he felt blogging is used to "log your being"" (p.43). I'd have to say I agree with this statement. Online journals should be about personal experiences. I could see myself using blogs as a place where my students can become book critics for their personal choice of literature or present a "reader's guide" to their choice of text. I would like to use blogging to promote reading outside the classroom. Students should feel as though what the read outside of the classroom is just as important as the novels they are reading inside the classroom. Eventually, the class could set up a blog where students can compare and contrast curriculum text with text read for pleasure.