Students use blog assignment to discuss course assignments and their own media consumption

I am grading at 25,000 feet. I’m flying back to Gainesville on a Delta Wi-Fi flight. With 4 1/2 hours in the air and students’ blogs to grade, Wi-Fi grading seemed like a good use of my time and of Delta’s GoGo wireless system.

I’m enjoying reading my students’ blogs. They’ve been blogging for seven weeks. The minimum was seven posts that would include their own photos and links. Some stuck to the minimum. Several went beyond the minimum — one with 21 posts.

But the key to this blogging assignment, as with blogging in general, is to have something worth saying.

I’ve found it helpful for me as a teacher to read their posts about class assignments. Taking photos of people they didn’t know was very difficult for many of the students — they felt like stalkers. Others wrote that they’d really enjoyed The Gator Nation photo assignment, as this was the first time they’d walked around campus really looking at the campus. Usually they were hurrying to class.

I’ve also found it helpful when students write about media issues that I wasn’t aware of — Interview magazine will be publishing on the iPad, a video game made in Japan is under attack for making a game of raping young girls, Vogue had a feature story on fashion bloggers, The Subservient Chicken is getting lots of hits for Burger King.

All  of my students’ blogs are in my RSS reader. So I’ll be checking to see how many keep blogging after the course is over. Even if they don’t maintain their blogs, keeping a blog for seven weeks has made them more aware of the medium.

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