Thing 4: Exploratory Reading on Blogging

“Why I don’t assign homework?” immediately struck a cord with me, as I just had a lengthy discussion at Back to School Night with parents about the perceived benefits of homework. I am teaching first grade, and I personally believe that after a long day at school the students are better off playing outside and reading instead of writing lengthy homework assignments. I agree with Dan Meyer that most homework assignments will be easy for the strong students who do not need any homework anyway, and difficult for the weaker students who still need help. Then who will do the homework – the parents! “The Time is Now” by Bob Sprankle was an interesting comment on perspective to me. Drawing a TV with “rabbit ears” which the kids nowadays never see anymore seems like a wake-up call for me – the time really is now to change my own habits with regards to technology.  Dealing with technology is what we need to teach the students now, not how to write letters in perfect cursive handwriting, which is a skill that they will no longer use in the 21st century! “A Rationale for Educational Blogging” directly links to the teaching of blogging.  I especially liked the quote that we do need to teach our students to “critically engage media.” Once again, in order to use tools like blogging effectively, we need to teach our students the necessary skills to blog. To think critically about what they would like to write about, how to read blogs, and how to leave a comment. Once again, exactly what we are trying to achieve right now, right on this blog. “Is this SSR, 2.0?” was a great idea of teaching blog reading and getting students into reading? I am not surprised that children prefer to read kids’ own reading blogs instead of books at times. As long as they are reading, it should not always matter what kind of reading it is. As long as they are engaged, I think that reading a blog by kids is a great way of reading. It it tough for us old-timers to give up the smell of books, the crinkling sound a page makes when you turn the page, and the thrill of starting a new book. Friends of mine wanted to give me a Kindle for my birthday, and the thought of it made me shudder, but as Steve Hargadon mentioned in his article how cool is it to dialog with others on a book right there on the Kindle? No more need for a book club but having a dialog about a book right from your home? The possibilities are endless, I just need to learn how to use the new tools!

One thought on “Thing 4: Exploratory Reading on Blogging

  1. Sunday afternoon at the computer (smile) . . . I’m glad to see that you are really enjoying the course resources and have no trouble with blogging.

    I like the part of your post about critical engagement with media. Students need to understand the technology tools to be able to access information and to produce information in a variety of media formats, but, regardless of the format, students still need critical thinking skills to use, synthesize and evaluate what they see and hear and read.

    By the way, I am a Kindle owner . . . be glad to share my thoughts with you!

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