Sunday, March 1, 2009

Addicted to the Blogosphere

So, It's 11:30 pm, and this is how my night has gone so far...

7-8PM: shovel my grandparents' driveway

8:03- Check my blog roll
8:20- Do the dishes
8:40- Check my blog roll
9:00- Check email and then read more blogs
9:30-10:00- Snuggle with my 3 month old daughter and skype with a friend (while keeping an eye on Google Reader)
10:00-10:15- Search for the latest copy of L&L magazine I have misplaced
10:15- 10:30- Check and read blogs
10:30- Go to bed
10:31- Read more blogs on my iPod touch.
11:25- Turn off the light
11:30- Tet up to blog because my mind is racing about many of the great posts I have read this weekend! I need to post!

I guess the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem.

David Warlick's article about PLN's in the latest edition of L&L is a great guide to helping newbs to the world of blogging but it also provides sound advice to us addicts. I will be sorting my blog roll more effectively as of tomorrow morning! I really like his categories of Daily, Weekly and Monthly reading. 

The problem is- oh sorry I have 17 new blog posts to read, I'll be right back.

The solution to this is organizing my blog roll into an informative and effective content delivery system. Warlick also suggests loading up on blogs and using RSS feeds to gather information you are currently interested in rather than just adding things haphazardly as I often find myself. This is also a by-product of my late entry into blogging. 

Currently, thanks to my fellow ADE Neil Stephenson, I have been trying to take my projects to the next level with more self and peer assessment with feedback loops. In his recent post about peer feedback Neil comments:

Students should have as many opportunities as possible to share their work, hold it up to standards and rubrics, receive feedback from as many voices as possible, and then have time to revise and improve. I think this final step is so important. If we value student feedback and self-assessment, we must honour this by providing time for students to improve their work after receiving suggestions for improvement.

This comment came at exactly the right time in my teaching, which is another plug for the power of blogs in teachers' lives. I am in the middle of my digital literacy unit and we do a global issues project using iMovie and flickr images to help students discover the power of images. I start the unit with the song Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer. They also have to blog daily responses to images, video clips and current issues. (Don't tell them that it is a writing unit in disguise!) The missing piece of my global issues project was the peer feedback piece. I dove in head first after advice from Neil and introduced Voicethread. I will also be giving students 3 more classes this week to improve their projects after receiving feedback from myself and their peers with the project rubric in hand (on our class wiki). Tomorrow's class blog post will also ask students what they thought of Voicethread, because I asked them to bear with me as they were effectively technology guinea pigs last Thursday in my class. 

More reflections on my class' Voicethread experience to follow.

I've just completed the blogging addiction test. Which you should take as well. It says I'm 77% addicted to blogging. A pretty fair assessment. How addicted are you? How has reading blogs or blogging changed your teaching? 

It's now 12:14- I'm going to check my blog roll one more time...:)


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