25 April 2005

Considering a Class LJ

Since my Science Goddess position is being amped up next year, I will only teach one class a day. It will be AP Biology, which I love and have experience with. I do feel some trepidation about doing the course next year. I have to be away from my classroom a lot, and I know my kids suffer for that. AP kids (for the most part) are trying to achieve a particular goal and I have an obligation to help them as much as I can. I worry that it's too unfair to them to have me as their teacher. I'm already looking at how to ease things a bit and make it more "doable" for us all.

I've floated the idea of a class blog. I asked our tech person---and she says that there is no district rule prohibiting such a thing. I have yet to investigate the best site for hosting such a thing. Perhaps one of you readers (including you lurkers!) might have a good suggestion for me.

Why a blog? I like the idea of a bulletin board...a place for us all to be able to check in (no matter where we are)...to give and receive help...to share interesting links or stories we've seen...a way to continue discussions that have begun in class or pose ideas that could use more reflective thinking. Yes, I do have a website for my class---but it is under my control. I want something the kids can have some ownership of. Also, many students have their own personal blogs, so the format would be familiar to them. I think that would increase participation on a community blog.

Do I worry that there will be some griping? Sure. But they could be doing so now, like this kid is at his school, and I wouldn't know. (Nor would I want to know. I've also avoided seeing if I have reviews at this place.) I don't mind if kids have negative things to say---as long as it's done respectfully.

I have a few more months to ponder this and other ways to be both a Science Goddess and kick-butt AP Bio teacher. It's gonna be quite the juggling act.

1 comment:

Rob said...

I think it might work, but you're going to have to motivate them pretty hard. Keeping a blog is serious work, after all (and I don't have to tell you that)!

You might give extra credit for good posts or something...

I don't see why you couldn't use Blogger, just like your blog does now. Of course, if you do, you're going to have to give everyone the password, which means you will be allowing anonymous posting, which you may not want.

I use a free blogging tool called Roller, which allows for many users, each of which has their own blog (although it's just me right now). You would have to find a server to host it, though, and all of that might be more work than you're interested in and it would cost a buck a day or so for the hosting.