For some reason I decided to take a look at some of my student's blogs from last semester in my IST 110 class. If you recall from some of my posts, I had all my students create their own blogs ... not that all of them continued to use them, but it exposed them to the technology. I also replaced the use of our University-wide LMS, ANGEL with a standard blog for class communication. I did do some fairly decent post-assessment and evaluation related to the students' overall satisfaction and as I've posted here before, they were mostly happy with how it it worked as a course communication environment. Then today, while just surfing some of their spaces, I came across this post from one of my students who will go nameless:
"So I don’t know about these personal blogs. What’s the point in sharing your thoughts to all sorts of strangers on the internet? Well guess that must be why this is only my second post. However, I found the course blog to be really effective compared to angel…man what a pain in the ass. But anyways the class blog was great for helping others with posts and encouraging us to talk about class related material outside of class. Hmm haven’t ever done that before."
Its that last little bit that makes me think these types of spaces are SO much better than the stuff we as educators are pushing on our students. I think its time we start to look at these tools much more critically ... I know we are and it would be great if more people would join us. If you'd like to see more of the results from the survey we did, check out my talk from the ADC Leadership Institute.