I posted a couple of comments on Mark’s blog continuing the conversation about classblogmeister.
Again, I’ll state my original position. Classblogmeister is a wonderful tool and perhaps the best starting point for teachers and is an ideal tool for younger students. (I’ll leave the definition of younger students to the reader)
At some point one has to decide whether or not you see your class blog as disposal and also whether you hope students will maintain it beyond the life of the class. I highly doubt that high school students using classblogmeister will continue to blog after the class has wrapped up. Further, are teachers willing to continue to monitor the site. At some point, we need to prepare students for a longer perspective of blogging other than just for a class. Developing a reputable online presence is something we ought to be doing with our students.
Part of my belief that blogmeister has a limited shelf life in terms of age is the popularity of myspace. Ugly as most of the sites are, they are partly popular because of the high level of customization. Customization is not simply a frivolous waste of time but I think is critical to develop ownership. Students love to decorate lockers, binders and notebooks to mark their territory. Will this make them work harder or produce higher quality work? I don’t know for sure but I’m guessing it will. People generally look after things they create better than if it’s simply given to them.
Gary Stager talks about giving kids laptops not just having them use them. They need to make it their own.
So again, I love classblogmeister and David Warlick deserves all the praise for providing this tool but I do think there comes a time when the training wheels need to come off and other tools are more appropriate.
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