Bringing Blogging to The Classroom #1

As I embark on a new semester, I’m planning a unit in which my reading students create and utilize their own blogs.  I’m hoping this facilitates motivation and fluidity with students’ reading and writing skills.  The blogs will provide a place for students to publish their work and feel a sense of an audience other than me.  I’m piloting this with WordPress.com and will incorporate this into other class curriculums if it proves somewhat successful with this group.

**I will update with more activities as I administer them along with the successes and tribulations as they come!***

Activity #1:  This will spark the initial discussion on blogging.  →  →  →

TECHNOLOGY ANTICIPATION GUIDE

Directions: Next to each statement, please put an A if you agree with the statement or a D if you disagree with the statement.  We will discuss these issues together!

_____1. Computers are necessary.

_____2. Email is better than the telephone.

_____3. Text is better than email.

_____4. IM is better than text.

_____5. We would be nowhere without advancements in science and technology.

______6. We need weapons of mass destruction.

______7. The only people who are responsible for weapons of mass destruction are the people who use them.

_____8. I would like to have a clone.

_____9. To cook = to microwave.

____10. When I was little, playing with my friends meant playing outside.

____11.. When I was little, playing with my friends meant playing video games together.

____12. Friends and family are more important than anything money can buy.

____13. Man has power over technology.

____14. Technology is more powerful than man.

____15. My social life would not be as fulfilling if it wasn’t for social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace.

____16. Blogging is a productive way to read and/or share information.

Activity #2:  To provide a baseline for writing skills at the opening of the semester, the course requires students write a five-paragraph opinion paper.  I’ve slanted the requirement to the blogging project.  →  →  →

Technology = Friend or Enemy?

Believe it or not, when your incredibly young, hip, stylish teacher was your age, the Internet or World Wide Web was just getting off the ground; we certainly did not have it available in school.  There were no cell phones.  Oh, there were those lovely, large car phones that could not be removed from the car and that only worked when the car was on.  So, at least, if one had an emergency while the car running, it was all good.  One of my favorite video games was Kaboom, which was an Atari game – I’ll be shocked if any of you remember that awesomely addicting game!  You know, I thought that in the year 2010 we’d be living like the Jetsons by now. (wait . . . that cartoon is way before your time too!)

Aside from the few prehistoric items I mentioned above, think about the many technological innovations we have today:  the vast array of communication tools, medical advances, entertainment breakthroughs, space exploration and other transportation, weapons technology, and more.  We have come a long way in the short time since I was in your position — sitting in my freshman English class wondering, “What are we doing today, and why do I even care?”  Well, today you should care.  This assignment is a chance for you to finally voice your views.  All I want you to do is think about one question:  Is technology our friend or our enemy?

I’m not talking about just you or just the people in this class.  I am talking about the entire human race.  Based on what you do or don’t know about the colossal world in which you play a significant role, write a five-paragraph essay on why you think technology is or is not the enemy.  In this age of IPod and IPhone and portable DVD and Flip movie camera, etc. . . this question is more important than ever!

YOU MUST CHOOSE A SIDE!  EITHER IT IS FRIEND OR IT IS FOE, AND YOU MUST BE ABLE TO EXPLAIN WHY!  EITHER YOU FEAR IT OR YOU EMBRACE IT.  NO RIDING THE FENCE HERE!!!

Yes, this is an opinion paper, but you must use support.  Your support can be from your own life experiences, experiences of others, what you have seen on the news, what you read about in the papers, etc.  The point is that you must make your reader understand why you feel the way you do, and you must try to make the reader agree with you based on your support.

Paragraph 1—Introduction, which contains a thesis statement.  This statement is your main opinion statement; it is the basis for the whole paper.  It is your statement about whether technology is our friend or our enemy.

Paragraph 2—First body paragraph, first reason why technology is friend or foe and why (support).

Paragraph 3-Second body paragraph, second reason why technology is friend or foe and why (support).

Paragraph 4-Third body paragraph, third reason why technology is friend or foe and why.

Paragraph 5—Conclusion, which restates the thesis in different words, and summarizes the whole paper.

This paper is worth 45 Points.  Due end of hour!!!  Cannot be completed for homework!

–  BLUE/BLACK INK ONLY

–  ONE SIDE OF THE PAGE

–   LOOSELEAF NOTEBOOK PAPER/NO RAGGEDY EDGES

Focus and Organization (15 Points)              Content/Support (15 Points)

*Thesis is clearly stated.                                *Concrete Details

*Thesis is maintained throughout.              *Specific Examples for Support/Persuasion

*No tangential issues.                                    *Each paragraph supports thesis

*Style requirements are met.

*Appropriate Paragraphing                       Grammar/Usage (15 Points) *spelling, punctuation, diction,

  • Winsor Pilates

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