Where did all the time go? Why did I not use this great tool?
Well, first of all, I have no real excuse. But looking back at the school year, many factors contributed to not using blogs. One key difference this past year was Twitter. Instead of spending time thinking and writing, I constantly found myself glued to mini blog posts. I have never enjoyed writing. I am a horrible craftsman of language. My writing teachers always told me I wrote like I talk. This was nice way of telling me that in their opinion, anyone from eastern North Carolina is dumb. I feel confident that all my formal writing teachers are either dead, or tucked away in a nursing home by now.
I have also spend considerable time with my students learning to use Google Sites. I set up an account for my classroom which required students over the age of 13 to use their school email account. I had several students over 18 years old and they used their personal accounts from Yahoo or AOL. I did not use it at all with my under 13 y.o. students.
I liked using Google Sites for one major reason- Google Docs. The Google Site Google Docs feature is really nice with high school students. I was able to post PowerPoint, Word Docs, and spreadsheets. If we were studying cell processes, and I found a document I wanted them to read, I uploaded it the the Google Doc site and "shared" them with the students. They could work in teams or individually on projects.
When it came time for students to write their term paper, I had a hard time convincing my students to use Google Docs. They did not like having to log in to Google and uploading and then when they needed their doc, logging in downloading their document and remembering to upload it again. My students did not like the way Google Doc reformatted their documents. So, I will not try that again for term papers. The best tip I learned from this experience- tell the students to buy a cheap thumb drive and story their term paper on it. I loaned two of my thumb drives and the students never returned them. I should have gotten them to leave their cell phone with me until they returned my thumb drives. Oh well, maybe it was worth it.
It is summer time, time to recharge my batteries. Time to turn off the computer and take some walks outside. Gas is too high to ride around...have a good summer!
Here is a video created by one of my students in our Photography in Science class.