Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blog with Next Year's Students

In a comment on Mark's post about the day in the life of a blogging teacher, Brian says:
I'm planning to start blogging with my students next year . . .
Now, I'm pretty sure he's stating that he's planning on blogging with students next year, but the first time I read it I thought he was saying I'm planning on blogging with next year's students. That really got me thinking. This probably qualifies as another great idea for those teachers who have no life and an unlimited supply of time, but since I've encouraged all of you to post your thoughts and ideas even if they aren't practical or all the way thought out, here goes.

At this point (mid-June), the majority of students who are going to be in your classes come August are already in the class (and available in Infinite Campus to those that have rights to 06-07). Now, there are quite a few students who didn't complete registration who are yet to be placed, and some students who are currently in your classes that will have their schedules changed for various reasons, but the core group is already there. What if in the future we had in place a process where you could start blogging with your students before class even started?

I know, I know, there are all sorts of reasons not to do this (many of which I would agree with), but if I limit myself to just thinking about the positive aspects of this then, well, wow. What a great way to start getting to know your students before class even starts, and for them to start getting to know each other. What a great way to emphasize this "life-long learning" stuff we're always talking about with our students. What a great way to communicate to your students that we are serious about their education and they should be too, and that they have to be active participants in the class if they want to get the most out of it. What a great way to get them thinking about some of the "big picture" ideas (or "essential learnings" if you prefer) that you'd like them to focus on in your class. Maybe we could even get Ron to change the message board out front to include "blog next year's classes" as part of their "summer assignment."

I know this may not be a very practical idea, but I thought I would share it anyway in case it spurs any more realistic ideas in your minds. Of course, if any of you are crazy enough to consider doing something like this, the obvious next step is to blog with last year's students as well (why should learning stop when the school year ends?)

1 comment:

  1. Karl, I am one of those foolish enough to continue blogging with my 200 students over the summer. My students blog on think.com, it is a closed school site. I am lucky to be included in conversations, have questions posed to me, asked for advice, given advice, and plain ole stay in touch with some fantastic kids I've come to know throughout the school year. It takes time, but the payback is tremendous. I'll let you know how I feel in August!Cheryl Oakes