I am listening to a Paul Allison podcast. He is talking about how to get more people connected to technology and trying to integrate technology into the regular classroom curriculum. During the conversation he is having, he refers to Ed Tech Posse podcast 7 where they suggest connecting with teachers around something personal, asking what is personally interesting or fascinating to them. When I think about what is fascinating to me personally, what is exciting to me at the moment? I know what the answer is: the students’ blogging project interests me.
During class as the students were writing, one asked me if I had a blog. I was surprised as I had thought that it had been mentioned, but I think it was rather that now that students have ‘got’ the idea of blogging, they are interested in it in a different way. At the beginning, it was just words, the teacher talking, but now having experienced the idea of conversation and self expression through the medium of blogs, they were ready to hear more about it. It hasn’t taken long and I see that the students are learning while having fun. It reminds me about what Anne Davis of Edublog Insights says: “Writing/blogging really does benefit learning. We need to encourage, cheer our students on and work at releasing them from trying to write for us or for a grade.” She references Konrad from the Blog of Proximal Development: “It is fascinating to watch how students gradually abandon writing for their teacher and begin to develop readership among their peers,” and “by creating a community of bloggers, the teacher can ensure that writing is perceived as a process of sharing personal views and ideas.” Hear, hear.
But when I thought further about what fascinates me I drew a blank. I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the marking I have to do (it seems never ending) and the feeling that I am never doing enough for my study. Although I did have another thought. At the moment my Literature students (a year 9/10 combined elective unit) are studying poetry. I have asked them to choose a poem that appeals to them and to write a reflection which tries to express just what it is about the poem that speaks directly to them. Then, during class two or three students each class will read their poem aloud and speak about their poem. I have thought that we could record these and any discussion that ensues and think about making a podcast. The idea of a poetry podcast is not new: here is a beautiful one from Sandaig Poets - Poems from Sandaig Primary School.