I Don’t Get It… yet

Just a short post, because I can’t figure something out.  I’m really happy that my students are blogging (take a look at their work here), but what is it about their blogs that makes it so much easier for me to provide better feedback?  I could probably read any number of essays or written tasks, or even deliberate over the craftsmanship of a certain artwork, but I’ve never provided the kind of comments I’ve given my students this year.



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10 Responses to I Don’t Get It… yet

  1. ian says:

    I’m going to say it’s the fact that it is more like a personal conversation. Their posts are more conversational than essay so it makes it more natural to comment on.. more like a response back.


    • colleenkr says:

      It is like a conversation, isn’t it? In a way, it’s almost like having a bit more time in class to get to every student for a chat.

    • We are becoming more of a text culture. When one of my students says the “talked to so in so” what that often means is that they had a text conversation. Thoughts and responses can be articulated when put into text. Sometimes looking at a computer screen is less intimidating than looking at a person when talking about one’s work.

      • colleenkr says:

        You’re right, it is less intimidating now that I think of it. When I’m typing something on the computer, I’m not as distracted a person in front of me if I was having a conversation instead. I think timing has something to do with it too — if you’re chatting with a person, you feel the need to fill the void with words before you really have a chance to think about them whereas when we’re typing/texting/blogging, we can slow down a bit and think about what we want to say.

  2. bgrasley says:

    I wonder if the online format has something to do with it… not that it’s a blog, but just that it’s public and global. Even now, while writing this comment, I’m conscious of the fact that others might read it (not just you) and so I feel like I’m actually reaching (and teaching) a broader audience.

  3. erinluong says:

    I wonder if it’s natural as conversation… yet allows the writer and the reader more time to process their thoughts. When less concerned about format… more creative

  4. It’s easier to get your thoughts together when you are thinking what to write and how to write it. It’s MORE thoughtFUL. 😀

  5. Mr. Burke says:

    I have to admit that I have long since abandoned the traditional pencil/paper writing journal style of getting my grade 7/8’s to write. Just as you’ve discovered, when students write online about topics real to them, they automatically put more of themselves into the writing. Indeed, my students often make fun of me for writing more in my descriptive feedback than the actual text I am responding to.

    My students and I have talked about this and the reality is that they are more comfortable authoring online. It’s less formal, yes, but also less final. Students can actually use descriptive feedback to improve their writing without having to rewrite an entire response. The other reason blogging is better than conventional, formal writing is that student voice is clearer and they are free to express their ideas unshackled by the chains of format and convention. Being in elementary, a part of me dies everytime we sit in a PLC to review EQAO results and colleagues pull out the old RAPCO or RAFTS acronyms to “teach” effective response writing. The truth is those are more damaging because ideas get lost in the struggle for conformity.

    It sounds, and looks, as if you have a good thing going! I am extremely elated to see this in the secondary panel! 🙂

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