Wednesday, October 19, 2011

adventures in blogging

today, our APUSH students began blogging for the first time. i admit, their first blog post was a little constraining. i was asking them to answer an APUSH essay question. but i feel as if this situation was controlled enough to give them guidelines. we went over some general thoughts about blogging and then i turned them loose. so for 35 minutes they wrote about the political views of jefferson and hamilton and they tried to prove a point. then i stopped them. we moved on.
but i told them that they could revise as many times as they liked. i am going to "grade" the essay on what exists when i visit their blog. so they can go back and edit it all they want. i am also giving them "points" for having a peer and an adult comment on the essay. i figure they've got to develop an audience so why not begin to build that in with their first post?
i know that they won't be able to type their ap essays. i also know that they won't be able to revise over time. so, ap wise, i don't know that it is that authentic of an assignment. what i do know is that they will think about jefferson and hamilton a little more. they will think about their writing and revise it. they will discuss this writing with others. they will have comments about their writing that maybe offer suggestions and encouragement. and they will begin a journey into a public forum that will have a real audience.
so, here's hoping the journey is a pleasant one. i'll let you know.