I am so impressed with the conversations on this blog. Consider one post, “Profanity on the Blog”, on kristin’s blog. Kristin, the teacher, wrote about one of her students using profane language on another one of her student’s blogs. She expresses her frustration and explains her feelings on trust and how the blogs are a reflection on the class and her. Read through some of the comments where colleagues discuss the issue, treating this as a “teachable moment.” There are conversations with the student. Those commenting encourage the student to contribute reasonable thoughts or comments on the guidelines. The student himself posted a comment saying that he had a lot to say…but feared he may get into trouble for what he is saying and he expresses that he does not know all the school rules. He went on to say that he was emailing a copy to the teacher for review before posting. This blog shows how the conversations can lead to resolutions, more discussions, more thinking, more problem-solving together…

Then another post, Will blogs take over the world?

It is really humerous as she says….

I keep thinking of how the machines become self-aware in The Terminator 2 and imagine myself, buff like Linda Hamilton, packing heat to defend the human race against giant metamorphosing blogs.

She discusses blogging a bit more, her worries, concerns, thoughts and then closes with….

I’ve addressed these situations, and I think use of the blog will continue to improve, but I think that so many students are accustomed to blog sites like “My Space” that the line between the personal and the academic blogs can be fuzzy, especially in a course like English. But for the most part, I am blown away both by my students’ perceptive comments and by their honesty. I feel a little closer to them now, and I look forward to reading their entries. At times, I think I, too, become obsessive with the blog. As I mentioned in my last entry, I just have to maintain a philosophical focus.

She really got to the heart of it. Blogs do let us know our students better, their perceptions, and their honesty. There is much to learn from our students. Thank you for sharing, Kristin. Kristin is part of a class, I believe. Other blogs are listed on The Fischbowl. This author has many blogs and he certainly adds to the conversations- some really good reading there. I am going to take the time to read through them. I know I will learn a lot.

Then I traveled over to this post on Learning is Messy. He hits the nail on the head. He says….

We need working, breathing, reproducible, intriguing models available in many places for many to see and experience to leverage the gurus and the online examples. Should we build the clearinghouse – any volunteers?
Learning is messy!

Join the conversations. Share your stories. Get your students involved!