Monday, January 25, 2010

Curb Your E-nthusiasm

One of the best pieces of advice that I’ve seen so far with regard to integrating technology in the classroom is found on page 45 of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classroom, by Will Richardson. The advice is this: “start small.”

Although we are in the throes of an obvious revolution, we are not yet all on the same “virtual” page. Some students have had more exposure and enjoy greater access to computers than others and I think it’s important not to overwhelm or alienate those who may be playing catchup.

I am a big fan of the concept of blogging in the classroom and I foresee myself using blogs for many of the tasks that Richardson outlines in his book including: posting reflections on class discussions (extra credit for posting links that support or refute our arguments), collaborating on written assignments, posting homework, publishing a class newsletter, managing a book-club or literature circle, etc. (p. 38) However, I think in these early stages of the game it’s a good idea to let the class dictate the pace. As teachers we must be ready to react and respond to the needs of our students, but that doesn’t mean setting up a complex system of blogging right out of the gate.

I think, too, that it’s important to remember that a classroom blog is not a showplace for what we as teachers know, but instead what our students can do. I like the idea of giving them some say in designing the class website. I think that a project such as that would give the students a great sense of ownership.

Richardson gives some great advice on introducing blogs to the classroom. Whether we follow his advice or forge our own path isn’t as important as the idea that we must make sure we’re on the path that best benefits our students.


  1. I absolutely agree that the students should ALL be key players in the classroom blog. I believe that their involvment, as well as their friends, will make them more likely to visit the site often, and feel like they are a key player in their own education.

  2. I like the idea of publishing a class newsletter. That would utlize the blog that students can add to everyday. It would also build a community in the classroom and allow the students to interact with one another.

  3. I loved your last little paragraph. I think that it is completely true that we do what we are comfortable with. We should always try new things and be adventurous, but knowing what we are doing is more important than using as much technology as we can.

  4. I also found that page to be quite interesting. Richardson really knows how to integrate technology into the classroom. I plan on using a wikispace as a homebase for my classroom someday. (though by then wikispace will probably be old news)

  5. I never thought to use a blog to collaborate as a group. I think that's a great idea for the teacher will be able to see the progression and the ideas flow/bounce from student to student. Also- I remember the days in middle school when we couldn't drive and finding a way to all work together was near impossible. This way nobody has the excuse "I don't have a ride"

  6. I agree with you when you point out that some students have a greater exposure to computers while as others do not. It is important that teachers are aware of this so that students who have less exposure do not fall far behind.