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Student Blogs: Project Planning Starting to Come Together

September 7, 2010

Today I met in the IMC with Marci Zane and Heather Hersey and other colleagues and we discussed the blog that we will be using in The Classical World.  What I can’t believe is that we spent about two hours talking about how we are going to present, explain and structure the project.  It seemed like it was 20 minutes!  Time flies…!

So here’s our game plan so far, and more of it will unroll throughout the semester.  Today was the first day of school and I have to say that I am impressed by the energy that my student have for the course.  It helps so much when trying out new learning activities…and it’s what also makes teaching electives FUN!  Over the next week I will be introducing the idea of social media in class where it’s appropriate, and demonstrating sites and sources I use to learn.

On September 17 Marci is going to come into class and we are going to discuss what a blog is, how information is being shared globally now in 2010 and how that’s different from just even a few years ago.  We’re also going to look at how news is shared and how social media has changed the way that news and information is exchanged.  Marci has some great ideas and conversations starters that we’re going to try out for the first time.

Next we’re going to move on and demonstrate some sites and sources that we feel are somewhat like “primary source” type social media sites and websites.  They’re “primary sources” in that these are people doing current research and publishing media about it for the first time…they’re the primary generators of this new information (and maybe we need to chose a different term for this so as to avoid confusion.  If you have suggestions do tell!)

Then we’ll move onto demonstrating “secondary source” sites — people doing exactly what they’re going to be doing — writing about and sharing a passion.  Most likely the “secondary” sites out there now are from students, but many many people all over the earth have a passion for these societies and cultures (which is very relevant to the essential and guiding questions!) and they write and share.  We are hoping to find them.

And then we are going to show my students this site and I am going to talk to them about my experience blogging and the feedback I am getting.  It also shows them that I am not asking them to do something that I myself have not done.

They will then have time to poke around and find things that they may want to blog about this semester and we’ll direct them to an IMC project link page.  They’ll then have a week to really think about what they want to write.

Finally on September 24 Heather will come and help us get on WordPress.com and set up our blogs.  We’ll also use the Netvibes aggregator so that students can see what’s going on and make it easier to collaborate and comment.

Here’s a VERY ROUGH sketch of the project.  We have a lot of finer details to work out, but take a gander and offer up any advice or suggestions you have.  I think everything on there in its current state is self explanatory to and educator; I know more details are necessary for a student.

On a side note, I typed up this post on the same model of netbook that my students will receive tomorrow.  I love this model and it was so easy to use.  The keyboard is laid out well, the screen quality amazing and the overall usage experience pleasant.  They’re going to love these machines!

Thanks and have a great open (if you haven’t already) to any U.S. readers.  To readers elsewhere on the globe I hope all is well.

Classical World Blog Project

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