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keeping on

February 8, 2007

The student blogs have come along well this semester although I have one student who has yet to blog.  He isn’t resisting; he does not yet have a computer and doesn’t want to use one on campus, even the ones in our lab.  One student asked me if I was going to suggest corrections for their writing.  I told her no because in the past when I did so, some people got discouraged, and besides she probably didn’t want me telling the world about her grammar errors.  She understood that part.  I have made grammar suggestions in the past, but I think it was not a good idea no matter how much students said they appreciated it.  This time I am going to suggest that they come to the lab or my office if they want to discuss grammar and editing in their blogs. 

I am posting through the Performancing add on for FireFox that Bee told us about to see how it works.  I had tried Microsoft’s Live Writer, but it didn’t get along well with Blogger.  I would write the blog posting in Writer then cut and paste it into Blogger.  This meant that the formatting never transferred. 

The class I introduced to Quizlet did poorly on their first vocabulary test, but they also did not add any words to Quizlet.  Tomorrow I am going to suggest they use the tool more seriously.  I don’t want to put all the words and definitions in myself, nor do I want to organize them for the task.  I will just give them a few tugs and hope they make use of it.  Two problems arose in using it for the first test: I didn’t find the program until a week before the test, and when I put it in WebCT, I did not have it open a new page.  When it opened it WebCT, the students could not login.  I fixed the second problem, but I couldn’t do much about the first one. 

Tomorrow I am digital video taping my communication class’s group norm violations project.  I have been learning how to do it because I can give them copies of their presentations that they can review.  I want to move to having them do self-evaluations though I don’t think I will get that done this semester as I now have administrative duties.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2007 2:48 pm

    I just looked at Quizlet and am quite impressed. Thanks for the link!

    And I agree about correcting grammar. I don’t see blogs as an appropriate place to worry about that. But I could be wrong!

  2. February 9, 2007 10:28 pm

    i really agre with you on correcting blog posts. While giving a workshop to teachers i was asked about that and was quite adamant about NOT correcting. If my students want anything corrected, they send it to my by e-mail first. It’s interesting that some make use of the offer sometimes, but usually they just post.
    I’ll certainly give quizlet a try! Better than reading the lsit a gazillion times 😉

  3. February 13, 2007 1:47 am

    My approach is similar. I do ‘language workshops’ with my students – I try to de-emphasize the word ‘grammar’ as they tend to adopt this micro-approach to each sentence which often kills their creativity. I ask them to do in-class practice paragraphs which we revise together to make them better. That way they learn the rules/phrases that I teach them in the workshop. When they blog, some of them use the new strategies, some don’t. I look more for creativity and originality in discussing concepts and issues on their blogs rather than perfect grammar.

    I also read a lot about teenagers blogging, chatting and text-messaging and it turns out that many ‘digital natives’ do not consider online writing to be the same as writing in a notebook. They may apply more rules to a pen-pencil writing but fewer to online writing; that is they make the distinction between the two: online/offline domains and use different dialects for each (sort of like informal English for communication/formal for academic work). Apparently, that’s quite natural.

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