Wow! I’m amazed at the variety and quality of writing and discussion seen in the many blogs I’ve read! I know that our assignment was to check out at least 5 different blogs from the 25 listed, but once I got going, I couldn’t stop! I think I’ve read something on each and every one of these! The variety is wonderful, serving so many different purposes.
One thing that strikes me as I read blogs is that I feel like an eavesdropper! These are conversations in which I’m not a participant, which makes me an outsider looking in. In many cases, I can feel the tension between opposing opinions. Reading someone’s blog can be compared to overhearing them in conversation – with the difference that the bloggers want others to know what they’re writing, and are eager to learn what others have to say about their topics. This feeling of looking in from the outside will easily subside as I become a more active participant in the “blogosphere” (love that word!).
One of the teaching ideas that I’m sure to use is the Upside Down Pop Quiz, where the students answer questions about the big ideas of a unit as they read it. Here, they become aware of the core concepts and ideas that their teacher wants to stress in the chapter, instead of having to guess about what’s important. The teacher becomes more aware of teaching needs and doesn’t waste time in class on concepts that students find easy. The discussion following the post cleared up many of my own doubts, as experienced teachers asked excellent questions of the author.
Another blog that I thought was interesting was PowerPoint Reform by Joyce Valenza. It’s interesting that my dear friend Ali who lives now in Bangkok, has just posted a similar topic on her blog. She called it the pecha-kucha style of presenting. I had never heard of this, but it makes so much sense: 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, one image or word on each slide — no bullet points! Of course in teaching students to use this, you wouldn’t require more than a few slides. The act of presenting clearly and planning the flow becomes very important!
Well, I’ve digressed from the subject of blogging – sort of – but that’s another thing that I noticed while reading so many blogs! One thing leads to another, the links are sooooooo helpful, and you don’t really know where you’re going to end up! What fun!