At the ADE Summer Institute we were urged to embrace failure and a natural part of the quest to innovate. I understand the notion, but it does not make the consequences any less painful if you have invested time and effort into a project. Perhaps by sharing my frustration, disappointment, and failure; someone will have some helpful feedback or at least be spared a similar experience.
I urge my cbl project groups to map their progress using Google Docs. They are required to include me as a collaborator so that I can add notes and provide guidance. I get the strong impression that usually one group member tends to dominate the authoring. Worse, the comments I make don't elicit any back and forth. A couple of students waited until class to see me about the comments (What happened to email?), in both cases worrying that they were being "marked down". One erased my comments before the rest of her group even saw them, and then asked me if she had fixed the problems, sort of missing the point of collaboration.
I'm hoping this situation will improve after the students become more acquainted with Google Docs and the benefits of collaboration.
Build it and they will come....That certainly is my experience with the Blog Squad Ning. The purpose of this virtual club is to afford students the chance to help other students with commonly used technical tools. I gathered names last spring and issued invitations. Students immediately signed up this Fall. I began a couple of discussion threads and groups. Then . . . . nothing. I am reluctantly conclude that to ignite the group we a physical meeting or email bombardment may be necessary. The members are not used to being attentive to the Ning. This is ironic, because the reason I jettisoned sponsorship of a more conventional club was that students seemed to assume I would be its major force. Now I find myself in the same position with the Ning.
A) I was very excited about offering my AP students an ebook option for their text, this year (At our private school the students purchase books). It has nice features and is half the cost its traditional text. Strangely, only about 15% opted for it. This I simply do not get.
B) Last spring I offered film students the research option of writing a digital research "paper" with hyperlinks rather than using the conventional MLA model. The result? I got dreadful citation and reference with both options. And I mean, really bad.
Have you noticed than in all of these I've mistakenly assumed that students will adjust readily to digital media?
P.S. While I haven't yet sewn any silk purses from these sow ears, at least they have given me blog content!
"Angst" Flickr Creative Commons photo by tizzle
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