Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Blogs in Schools
I am trying to take the extra time in my life to read and think about what I want to do in my classroom in the next years and what I want to do in the library, assuming I move over there at some point. Whenever I have the chance, I try to incorporate my ideas and thoughts for the future into my assignments. For example, I had to write a grant application. We (my partner and I) decided on a book club with two schools involved. We thought we would set up a blog so that the students at both schools could virtually discuss the books. Nice.
Now we are working on Action Research. We thought of 15 questions and then looked at the literature out there and refined one. My refined question was about the use of blogs in libraries and how this could enhance communication with patrons. Part of our assignment was then to respond to people in our group. My partner for the grant project responded to mine, saying that she had wanted to start a blog at her school library where she discussed books. They exist out there. They look pretty informative and valuable. But after looking into it, this librarian found out that her district had completely outlawed and explicitly forbidden blogs in their AUP. Hmph.
I know there are worries about safety. But there are safety concerns about the internet in general. So hopefully when people are brave enough to try it out, they see the advantages that blogging can bring. Because when students are blogging, they are writing. Even if they are writing about their day and not some deep sort of analysis, they are writing. And writing is good.
In high school or maybe junior high my mom noticed that my reading comprehension scores were not as high as my other test scores. So she wanted me to read more classics. She gave me Pride and Prejudice. I remember how it looked sitting in my room as I avoided it. I rebelled. I didn't ever read that book. I will someday, I am sure. I read a few other classics and my test scores didn't improve significantly. Then I started reading things that I wanted to read. And I read and read and read. And my test scores improved a lot. Because I was reading.
I believe that reading and writing are good. On whatever level they occur, they are good. I know new things have to be attempted/sampled/tried. But I also think that reading and writing on any level are a good thing. I'm not in the job yet, so these thoughts may change. But this is me now.