Category Archives: Literacy in Science

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

New Chem-Ed X Blog Post: Reading Non-Fiction in a Chemistry Class

I’ve got a new blog post up with Chem-Ed X about the book we’re reading in my grade 10 chemistry class, The Case of the Frozen Addicts. We’re reading about three chapters per week, and using our one-hour class on Wednesdays exclusively for work with the book. I have used this book a few times before but this is the first time I’ve focused on social media – specifically blogging and Twitter – to help students respond to the text.

If you’re interested in joining the discussion, we use #MT4P for the class hashtag and #FrozenAddicts for any tweet related to the book. The students have also started blogging – although we’re only one blog post into the project, with blog post number 2 currently in the works. If you’re interested in reading the blogs (and commenting too!) check out the “Student Blogs” page from our class blog.

I’ll be writing at least one – but likely two – more post for Chem-Ed X about the book, so check back for more. And let me know if you use any non-fiction books with your science classes. I’d love to know what learning activities you use.

 

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Filed under Chemistry, Literacy in Science