I wanted my first entry to be about the practice of blogging in my classroom. I looked at some of my class logs and found an interesting comment:
January 27, 2005. It is now 11:40am, I am sitting at my desk and the students are working hard on their blogs. All I hear is the gentle clicking of the keyboards. No talking at all. They seem to be totally engaged and focused on writing. All I hear is typing. I am wondering if this kind of intense engagement is good and whether it will last. Is it good that they are so engaged? Should there be more collaboration? Some of them occasionally come up and ask questions about their work. They want me to see if their work is “good.”
I wrote later on that their behaviour clearly indicated that they were still writing for me, for the audience of one person, their teacher. When they first started using their blogs, my students perceived them as mere extensions of their notebooks, as something where work assigned by their teacher would be completed only to be then read and marked by their teacher.
I am noticing now that this intial perception is gradually changing. They have begun to realize that their blogs are more than notebooks. I am seeing signs of an emerging community of writers. Some of them have begun to take pride in the quality of their responses. Most now visit other blogs and comment on the entries. Their comments show that they engage with the texts they encounter, that they perceive themselves as contributors.
The number of trips to my desk with the question “Is this good?” has been steadily declining.