Welcome to GMST 525!

March 2, 2007 at 7:34 pm | Posted in uncategorized | 17 Comments

Hey, have you learned something new yet? What is your first impression of blogging?  What potentials do you see for integration in your classroom or future classroom?  What concerns or questions are you thinking about?

We are looking forward to exploring literacy in the content areas with you and establishing our learning community.

Thanks for helping us, Brian!

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17 Comments »

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  1. Great class tonight

  2. We are definitely off to a fast start in Developing Literacy through MST! I have gained greater understanding of terms like weblog and wiki and have learned exciting ways to use blogging as a tool for enhanced learning. The introduction to blogging and getting set up for further exploration were riveting experiences. More than gaining an advantage over my son in something he has not yet mastered, this knowledge is beneficial because of its potential power to enhance student achievement.
    Though I was completely unfamiliar with the procedures, I was able to jump right in and quickly access a wealth of information through Brian’s efforts to shatter my ignorance of this technology. His enthusiasm and exuberance made it easy to stay engaged and allowed me to make significant progress as an entry level blogger in only a few minutes. While blogging seemed like it would be interesting, it was simply beyond my experience until our introductory class session. I had been stuck in the rut of accessing sites from my list of favorites or sending links to a small group of people through email. Now that the light has been turned on, however, I am beginning to see the impediments to my ability to use information. I still have much to learn, though, and can appreciate Jason’s June 3, 2006, comment,

    As far as the blogs that we talked about today in class, I think that it will be a very good resource for me in the future. I have heard about them, but I must admit that I have very little knowledge of what they actually were until today. I’m still not completely sure what they are or how they can be useful, but this experience will lead me to learn more about them.

    I can also relate to Jennifer’s June 3, 2006, comment,

    Am I the only one who suddenly feels really old and out of touch? I thought I knew the computer happenings… But I blinked, and missed so much.
    I am definitely interested in seeing how this blogging thing turns out in our classroom, and eventually how useful and productive it is in a high school math classroom.

    Blogging can give students access to the most current information available to create unthinkable possibilities for problem solving progress. I would bet today’s students are already adept at blogging, and those who haven’t tried it yet can grasp it rapidly. As noted in the article, Blogging – Integrate the latest communication trend in your classroom, blogging promotes a learner centered environment where students become the

    “key players in the learning process. Blogging provides a perfect format for teachers to use active techniques such as problem solving, experiments, role-playing, and debates to uncover knowledge as students use their online thinking space to discuss, reflect, and articulate how their learning is changing.”

    The only concerns I have with blogging are centered around my ability to keep up with the pace of learning it enables and to develop greater comfort and proficiency with its use. Will I need to exert restraint to keep from overusing this tool in my own classroom someday? Is it even possible to take this too far? Right now it’s like a new toy; does the novelty wear off?
    A new trail has been blazed through the rugged territory of the blogging world which we will soon transform into a well traveled boulevard.

  3. When we started the class session talking about blogging, I wasn’t really sure what to make of it. I do blog on http://www.myspace.com and http://www.blogger.com, but both are just a way to keep in touch with my friends and display my paintings. But how would we be using it in class? Wouldn’t it be more work for your professors to look at 11 different blogs then just collect journals from us? I could see that it would be a paperless way for us to journal in class.
    I took a look at the comments and posts from last summer’s classes, I started to see how this could be effectively used in my classroom to enhance learning as Michael Yancey stated. I have the Students in my classes journal every day. I photo copy journal pages with the same three questions, “What did you learn?” “What homework did you work on?” and “what do you need help with?” Now I want to replace those journal pages with blogging so my students can interact with each others opinions and have more meaningful questions posted to them by me and other students. I can ask them questions that will engage their thinking and maybe encourage them to research more information.
    I was also really interested in Mr. Kuropatwa’s Pre-Calc. I have been trying to set up a teacher website to help my students out. However the blog is an interactive way for the students use a website. Each class could have a different page and the homework could be posted daily. If the students had questions they could comment back. My only worry is with my administration. The AIS program is working so well right now I don’t know if they will allow a lot of changes.
    Lastly I think my only concern comes into play when I look and the amount of work involved in this class. I am starting to think that three classes, full time teaching, and volunteering is going to be a little overwhelming. But I really enjoyed the first two classes so I am going to stick with it. And that is also the reason why I am writing this post this morning.

  4. Sorr Mr. Kuropatwa’s Pre-Calcy was a link in Word when I wrote this. If you want the like it is http://pc4sw06.blogspot.com/

  5. Wow! I’m psyched that our meeting the other night was received so well. First, I’d like to share a blog from a school principal that I have found an interesting read. Kimberly Moritz writes the G-Town Talks blog and recently put up a post that others have found interesting about NOT blogging with students. Check it out as it talks about YOUR learning and how to use blogging sparingly. Michael comments above about the novelty of blogging wearing off. I am not so sure that it wears off when done correctly. I liken this to how we don’t seem to wear on conversations about topics interesting to us. Blogging is about conversation. Used appropriately, it connects us to other like minded people, not people just being polite and nodding their heads in disconnected agreement.

    My suggestion is to… be patient, write about topics that “hit home” or are relevant to a question you have. Will Richardson gives a great suggestion… keep writing, even if you don’t think someone is listening… err… reading. If you have something to say or a question to ask, chances are that someone else will too. 🙂

  6. I am really excited about blogging. I think it will be great to use with my classes. My students currently e-mail me with questions or concerns about class. I think that if I used a blog, then some of my students could answer each other’s questions, or I would only have to answer the question once if a lot of my students have the same questions. I know that my students will have no problem pick up how to blog; today’s teenagers are amazing with technology. Most of my students have face book or my space. I think they might actually get excited about bogging in a math classroom and I wont have to hear, “this is math class I shouldn’t have to write.”
    Since I work in a private school I might have trouble get the administrator to approve this teaching technique. But I think with a clear explanation of what will be discussed on the bog they will not have a problem with this. I am also trying to think of other ways to use the bog other than asking questions and getting the students concerns. I think that if I think about it while I am teaching the next few months I will come up with something else.
    I am really interested in this class. I know that the state wants math teachers to integrate literacy into the classroom more then us math teachers are used to. When I found out that the new regents were going to be more literacy focused I was not sure how to reach. I know that it is important for students to understand that they still need to be able to read and write in math class but I wasn’t sure how I was going to tie it in. I think that when I am finished with this class I will have great ideas on how to integrate literacy.

  7. So far, I think this class will be very interesting and informative. I like how organized it is, compared to some other weekend courses where i felt confused most of the time! I am very comfortable using the Internet. I have a myspace account, http://www.myspace.com, and a deviant art account, http://www.deviantart.com, both with journals. Therefore, blogging does not take me too far out of my comfort zone. I am very excited to learn ways to implement it effectively in a science classroom.

    Blogging seems to have a lot of possibilities, especially in a science classroom. It seems like a great was to stay in touch with students outside of the class. Just as Andrea noted, students can interact, see each other’s questions, and perhaps have their own questions answered. What a time saver!

    I do have some concerns however. First is finding good, safe reputable blog site, that will ensure are students are not reading inappropriate topics. Could a school/class set up their own blog site? Second, I am observing in a city school this semester. Most of the kids in these classes do not have home computers. The library in the school has limited computers. It would be hard to institute blogging as a norm in these classrooms. It would almost seem culturally biased to expect all students to have equal access to computers. Does anyone have a good idea to remedy this? I think that you need to take each class into consideration before you institute anything that requires daily computer access.

    On a different note, for my last literacy class I read this great article called, Multi genrea lab reports you could use a blog as a possible form of writing lab reports. Your students would be putting their work out there like real scientists. whose work is reviewed by peers, and even the world. Clearly blogging has a lot of potential in any classroom

  8. my hyperlink failed!! here is the address for the lab paper, http://libdb.sjfc.edu:2536/pqdweb?index=2&did=1019026281&SrchMode=1&sid=4&Fmt=6&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1173196921&clientId=4463

  9. Blogging is such a big new world to explore! I had no idea there were so many communities out there. I’ve heard of IMing, chat rooms, and message boards, but I never knew blogging was anything but a dating service or an outlet for teenage angst. I’m very excited to start exploring the world of bloggers. I’m also a bit nervous. It strikes me as something that could become quite addictive, and become just another source of screen-sucking time if I’m not careful. Also, I’m still confused a little bit about how to find good news feeds or good blogs, especially with respect to education and science. I’ve done a bit of poking around to no avail.
    The biggest problem I’ve encountered is exemplified in Brian’s comment on 3/5 about the Principal from Gowanda’s blog on NOT blogging with students G-Town Talks . Almost every single comment was just a lot of verbage to say

    I agree

    . On our GMST 525 blogging rubric, those comments would be a 3,2 or1. Too many of the blogs out there are just full of blather (as opposed to the brilliant repartee in our class blog!).
    In my (hopefully) future Physics classroom, I can see the elegance in using web-based learning for posting homework, daily schedules, lessons, etc.. A blog might come in very handy for students to post questions and compare answers to the homework. I can remember having to call my friends to try and find out how they approached problem number-whatever, and what answer did they manage to calculate, etc… I can also see using Podcasts in my class. There is a Physics Podcast for a high school algebra-based Physics course Mr GM’s Podcast . The teacher, Mr. GM, has what appears to be all of his lectures on Podcast for students to review. I just managed to download to my computer one of the lectures in *.mov format, but I haven’t yet figured out I if have an application that will play the Podcast. Unfortunately, it took almost 20 minutes to download the movie. Does anyone know of a better method?

  10. Class on Friday was a lot of fun and very informative. I like most of you have heard of blogging but I have never thought of using it as a tool in my future classroom. Before class on Friday, when I thought of blogging, I thought of myspace. Like Andrea I thought blogging was just a way to keep in touch with friends and family. Now my eyes have been opened.
    I think once I’m actually teaching I would love to set up a class website. I could post the syllabus, the lab schedule, the homework, and the quizzes and exams that students have already taken. I could also include links to interesting chemistry related websites that students might enjoy.
    Many of us have the same idea on how blogging could be a great tool for students, like Cathy who wrote on March 7, 2007,

    A blog might come in very handy for students to post questions and compare answers to the homework. I can remember having to call my friends to try and find out how they approached problem number-whatever, and what answer did they manage to calculate, etc…

    I also remember having to call friends to get help on homework and when my friends had no clue either I was stuck and gave up. Blogging would’ve really helped because I could have had the input of the whole class.
    As a student, I remember wishing I had acsess to the teacher on nights or weekends. A blog would help me connect with my students when they’re having trouble outside of school.
    My main concern with setting up a whole website or a blog is technical support. I know how to use the internet, but I have no idea how I would go about setting up a whole website. Hopefully my administration would support this and have some sort of technical support available for me, someone like Brian.
    I also agree with Diana’s concern (March 6, 2007)

    It would almost seem culturally biased to expect all students to have equal access to computers.

    Not all students have computers at home, so having a class website might be an unfair advantage for students who are lucky enough to have a home computer. The only solution to this, I can think of, is to suggest all students get a membership to their local library. I believe all libraries in this area have computers with internet access and most libriaries are open until 9:00pm. Then that leaves the issue of transportation.
    To change the subject, I did some quick searching to find a high school chemistry class blog and I found a school, Roosevelt High School in Kent, OH, that has a tab for faculty blogs right on the main page of the website. Here it is if you are interested http://kent.k12.oh.us/rhs/blogs/index.php?username=ccarman

  11. I wrote my comment in word and then copy and pasted it. I used tabs to show I was starting a new paragraph and they didn’t show up here. I guess I should have added an extra line in between paragraphs. Sorry

  12. So many people in the class are excited about blogging and ways it can be used for enhancing classroom teaching (I just had to add blog and blogging to my Word dictionary) and I am right there with them.

    I am really excited about blogging. I think it will be great to use with my classes. My students currently e-mail me with questions or concerns about class. I think that if I used a blog, then some of my students could answer each other’s questions

    I think it is a powerful tool especially for classes like ELA and Social Studies. The editing tools need to be enhanced to support mathematical and chemical equations. Of course they might and I don’t know about yet as this is my first blog post.

    My concern about blogging is that my kids are already on the computer all the time with IMing, MySpace some kind of game site, etc. I have a hard time getting them to go outside. This could be another thing that keeps them sitting down. I am also pondering Mike’s question

    Will I need to exert restraint to keep from overusing this tool in my own classroom someday? Is it even possible to take this too far?

    I remember the Dean of the School of Engineering at RIT say something like – you won’t be able to learn if your body is falling apart around you.

    Of course I would not be surprised if you will be able to post voice blogs and responses to the internet before too long. This will allow kids to post comments via cell phone while they are walking outside.

    Anyway the class is great and I look forward to future blogging.

  13. I thought I entered a comment to the Welcome blog from Brian last weekend but I can not find it so here is my first blog. I have heard the word before but have never tried blogging. I am fairly familiar with computers but I guess I have never bothered with blogging as I have dial-up internet service/ The service continually knocks me off the web. It can be frustrating being on the internet at home. I will use my blogging
    account at St. John Fisher or the library where I can obtain much faster service.
    I am very excited about learning how to blog. It is amazing the information that can be obtained from other bloggers. It is hard to believe the network of people that the internet can connect us with. I am concerened with using the correct blogging techniques but I guess now is the time to start.
    I can see how this can be integrated to my
    future classroom as children are interested in
    technology and computers. Teachers can use this
    interest to get the students to research subjects. Blogging is a way students can develop a
    deeper understanding of the content being taught. This is a great way to get students involved with literacy where the children are reading, writing and thinking about content areas.
    I found a website that seems to be helpful for new bloggers. The website gives coding information for beginning blogging. The website explains how to post images to your blogs. I will just use the site as my first attempts to hyperlink and quote. The site is
    Problogger Hyperlink

    Darren Rowse,the author of http://www.prologger.net said blogs are often (but not always) written on a particular topic – there are blogs on virtually any topic you can think of. From photography, to spirituality, to recipes, to personal diaries to hobbies – blogging has as many applications and varieties as you can imagine. Whole blog communities have sprung up around some of these topics putting people into contact with each other in relationships where they can learn, share ideas, make friends with and even do business with people with similar interests from around the world.

  14. My first attempt of hyperlinking failed so I’ll give it another try. The website is
    Problogger Hyperlink .
    If this attempt does not work, I would appreciate any help.
    Thank you.

  15. As Kerry did, I wrote my blog with tabs to start new paragraphs. Tabs do not work.
    The blog is displayed in a weird fprmat with each sentence in the middle of the passage a little longer on each line. I do not know what happened there. Oh well, I am learning.
    Problogger Hyperlink

  16. Hello, all! As pretty much everyone has said, I am excited to learn something new and interesting that the students I will be teaching are fascinated in. I have already used some of the techniques that Brian taught us on searching on other feeds and posts. It pulled up more information than my search on yahoo.com!

    This is my first experience with blogging. I have used other websites (coursecompass.com, for example) that are very similar to this form of posting comments, but was never actually labeled as blogging. Similar to Diana and Andrea, I have also associated the term “blogging” with those on myspace.com and from celebrities who like to post their entire life on their blogs. I never really thought that I would set one up myself, yet alone use it as a technique for communication in my classroom.

    I can definitely see how it would be a very useful method to journal-write or communicate to my students. Along with what Cathy and Kerry said, it would be very useful to post homework, lessons, journal questions for the day, and have access to these on the weekends, but I can also understand where Diana is coming from when discussing availability of computers to students in low-income areas. I have also worked with students from the city schools who do not have regular access to computers and could see how using blogging for main components of the classroom can be undoable. Kerry’s idea of obtaining memberships to the library is great, but if some students are coming from bad areas or have a bad home-life, I am not sure how effective it may be. Again as Kerry said, transportation may solve this problem.

    Another concern I may have is the reliance on computers for writing in general. I know from my own personal experiences, I totally rely on the spelling and grammar check and the thesaurus for writing papers and journals. I do not think that my writing would be nearly as comprehendible if I were not able to use these functions. I feel that actually writing something with a good ole pencil and paper can be more educational, as you are learning and being corrected on your grammar, spelling, etc. Or is this total reliance on computers for writing where our society has already gone, or going to? Probably.

    All in all, I am very excited about this class and what I can take with me to my future classes!

  17. Since our first class I have been asking around to other current teachers about blogging within the context of a math classroom. I have had limited interactions with blogging myself. I personally do not keep an online journal of any sort and do not feel comfortable with allowing students to do so either. In my experience students don’t understand that what they are posting is public. Even if the class blog were monitored quite strictly and censored I cannot monitor and censor what the students say about one another outside of class. I would rather not fuel students’ ability to pick on one another. I do think that blogging would be a great idea in theory. I would love to use it so that students can ask questions that they may have been afraid to ask in class, or even to express some extra knowledge on a topic. These were my initial thoughts.

    After talking with some other math teachers at my school I have found that they either have no idea what blogging is or that they simply would never consider making use of it. One of the teachers that I discussed this with said that she hates technology in general; she doesn’t understand it and therefore would not require it of her students. She also said that there was no room for it in the curriculum and “… Technology never works anyways…” A second teacher that I talked with said that she had never really considered it and didn’t have much of an opinion of it. She said she wouldn’t know where to integrate it. I talked with a third much younger math teacher and even he said that he didn’t really see much use in it.

    Whether these points by current teachers are shared or not I believe they must be considered. Is it worth the while or is it forced? I contemplated on this further and did some online searching. I found one great use of blogging in a math classroom and I am excieted to try this. There is a teacher that uses it for crossover projects. I can see where it is much easier to keep up with where students are on a project through blogging, especially since half of the project is outside of your content area.

    I understand that many people in the class are excited about the possibilities of blogging. I may not be convinced yet but many people are. I think I need to experiment and find out how it would really work within my own class.


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