Yesterday was the first day my new group of seventh graders reported to the computer lab to begin their blogs. For the most part things are going really well, and so far, I’m enjoying the fact that we held off in starting this project until the state testing and early classroom units were complete. I have a better sense of who the kids are this year and I think there is a greater sense of community amongst them as a collective group. We’ve spent a few minutes each week discussing online work, looking at my blog, and a few others up to this point, so that has helped too, I think.
To establish the routine of coming into the lab, logging on, doing their opener and getting started, I decided to spend four consecutive days in the lab – a sort of Blogging Bootcamp if you will. The only drawback I’m seeing to this so far, is the fact that I have to pop from one lab to another between first and second hour, but it’s been only a minor inconvenience.
Already there are some students who are clearly thrilled by the chance to work in a digital environment. One that comes to mind has been a bit off-task most of the year and today went above and beyond the expectation of the About Me page by inserting images and linking to the sources. Yet another student, who typically has a hard time staying awake in class was eager and attentive to the blogging task.
I’m excited to see how the portfolios will develop as we’re using them more as ePortfolios this year, another change from last year’s first attempt at blogging with students.