1) Blogging on Vlogs. I required many more video blogs this year from my A.P. students than last year. Recently there have been quality control issues. I recently rejected two of them because they were inferior. In both cases the students merely read a script with little understanding and less originality. I like the free-wheeling aspect of this activity, but I guess I will have to set some minimal requirements next time. I also have already decided to reduce the number somewhat.
2) While I have developed schemes for making my group project members more accountable to each other, I haven't made progress improving their time management skills. Recently two groups fell quite short of expectations in building their wikis. They had good ideas, but they simply could not get their acts together in order to create their media. If I impose strict schedules on the groups I am taking too much control away from them. If I nag about deadlines, the main result is stirring up anxiety rather than activity. This is a real head-scratcher, because I am up against the procrastination issues I discussed in a recent post.
3) At their best, the challenge projects allow the groups to exploit the special talents of all members. But there is a downside to this as well. It's common for group members to allow others who already know how to make slide shows , movies, etc. to do all the tech work for the group. Adults would do the same thing of course, but I would like to see the students try new tools. Again, if specific requirements are laid down I interfere with the group dynamics and create a prescribed exercise-- not good.
I'll come back to these issues with some new approaches, next Fall. In the mean time, if you have any suggestions. . . .
"Wipe-out" flickr Creative Commons photo by Mac Sokulski