I apologize for the unannounced hiatus. I came down with a nasty bout of strep throat. If you have never had strep throat, it feels like you have taken a bunch of nails and broken glass, covered it with Tobasco, and then swallowed it… repeatedly. So I have been down for the count for a couple of days. So, I have gotten a bit behind. However, my students are still hard at work. This is an overdue update on using Blogs in class. I originally wrote up this idea in “Blogging in the Classroom” and provided my first update in “First Week Using Class Blogs.”
For my 9th grade students, I have them do a weekly “Current Events in History.” They are to go out and find a story on an historical topic – new archaeological finds, fights over ownership of antiquities, looting stories, etc. The rule is that it must be historical and related to humans (so no dinosaurs or geography). They then summarize the article and do an in-class presentation. It teaches them to do their own research, how to summarize information, exercise basic writing skills, and to develop their public speaking. These are all abilities that they will need in college as well as in the ‘real world.’ Instead of handing in the written summary, I have decided that they will post them on the blog. Additionally, I provide up to ten points of extra credit if they follow up with meaningful comments on each other’s work.
Some students have posted some amazing tidbits and thoughtful follow up. Here is a great story from one of my students about a gold find in an Indian Temple:
And here are some great and thoughtful comments: