Category Archives: Blogging

New Post at ChemEd X-Change

I just published a new post at the ChemEd X-Change reflecting on a guest speaker I had visit my chemistry class recently. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience – and one I hope to replicate in future years.

 

Check it out: http://www.jce.divched.org/blog/reflections-virtual-guest-speaker-visit-my-chemistry-class

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Filed under Blogging, ChemEd X-Change, Chemistry

Student Blogging: The endless search for comments

My grade 10 introductory chemistry class has been blogging this spring. It’s been a GREAT experience (introduced briefly here), and I’ll probably share more later on the experience.

One part of blogging that I didn’t realize would be so onerous was finding an audience for the student blogs. There are quite a few people in the educational world that highlight the authenticity of blogs, as students write for an audience beyond the walls of the classroom. And while I agree with this, what is difficult is finding that audience. I have struggled to find people that will consistently engage with my students and their writing. There have been a few individuals that have done so, and I’ve tried to thank them through Twitter. But we’re all busy, so finding time to comment is difficult.

I’ve used #comments4kids to publicize the student writing, and that has generated some comments. I’ve RTed student tweets looking for comments. I’ve sent tweets to specific individuals, generating a small uptick in activity, only to be followed by a lull. I’ve had students tweet repeatedly asking for feedback, only to get none (one student in particular comes to mind, as she’s written some great posts worthy of a larger audience). Any time my students have received comments, they’ve been thrilled.

And this brings me to the purpose of this post: To ask for help!

First, if you have time, please read and comment on the blogs (linked here for a list of each student blog, and here for posts about an inquiry lab, and here for their final assessed blog post).

Second, if you have any practical suggestions (beyond what I’ve mentioned above) for increasing the readership of the student blogs, let me know!

Third, if you have some student blogs you’d like others to read, let me know. I’m happy to spend a bit of time giving back to other blogs in an effort to ‘pay it forward’ so to speak.

 

 

Thanks.

Lowell

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Filed under Blogging, Literacy in Science

An experiment with blogging in a grade 10 chemistry class (Part 1)

I just realized that I should discuss (although only briefly today, as I’ve got tests to mark and videos to make!) something new I’m trying this year with one of my chemistry classes: The class blog.

Find our chemistry class blog here: http://aisbchemblog.wordpress.com.

I am the author of the posts, but I have a link to “Student Blogs” that will take you to the list of student blogs from the class. For now, I’ve only had them complete one formal blog post (but a few students have posted on their own). This first post relates to our reading of The Case of the Frozen Addicts (discussed here on ChemEdX) and is simply a summary of the first few chapters, questions inspired by the text and a response to the reading. I didn’t do any proof-reading, but overall I was very pleased with the outcome.

The second blog post is in the draft stages. For this one, I gave the students a bit more leeway to decide on their own topic. It’s expected to be about Frozen Addicts, but the format is more open. On my class blog I gave them an exemplar blog post just to give them some idea of what it could look like. In retrospect, before I started blogging with the students, I think I could have taken some time to have students look at other blogs out there to get some ideas on formatting and content. (To that end, two teachers that have inspired me to delve into blogging are part of my Twitter PLN. I’d like to give them a hat-tip here: @OChemPrep and @VirtualGardner. They’re good for a #FF recommendation and some great ideas.)

I will keep you posted as blog posts develop from the students. Thus far, it’s been a great experience that I only expect to get better.

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