What are your feelings towards the inclusion of activities such blogging, tweeting, facebooking, and interstate school interaction? How do these methods enhance your understanding of the text?
I think its a great idea. Why not take advantage of modern technology? It gives students the ability to publish their work where their peers, along with the rest of the world, can access it. It is also a completely different concept within the English classroom. All of my classmates and I have essentially grown up only reading books and writing papers in English class. The opportunity to do something completely different such as blog is a revolutionary concept of which we embrace. It gives us the liberty to step out of the generic classroom and allows us to experiment with these new activities. Blogging gives us the freedom to write in our own style, about whatever we want to write about (with limitations. This still is English class), and at whatever pace we determine.
Interstate interaction has been going on for like forever. Remember the Pen Pals concept? Its nothing particularly new. It allows us to communicate with students who may not think the same we do, and open opportunities to be exposed to different styles of thought from people our age. The other school contributes to our knowledge, and we contribute to theirs. Sadly, I haven't witnessed much direct interaction between the schools. Its been more of a passive interaction, where we aren't really directly acting on one another. It needs to be where we are actively engaging, and I mean ENGAGE, in what one another writes and discuss it with a passion. That's where you take full advantage of this ability to communicate with other schools. It takes more than a couple of posts and comments by an irrelevant third party for communication to be considered a discussion. There must be an exchange of ideas, points of view, philosophies and such and such. Imagine an internet, interstate debate where there is literally massive gathering of people examining one another's ideas and discussing about the subject matter profusely, constantly learning from each single word casted into the fury of debate. This is where we learn... just like in the Greek or Roman forums or whatever....
How do these methods enhance our understanding of the text? Shoot I dont know. Why are you asking me? I haven't been witness to an obvious or even subliminal change in understanding of content. No one has told me that this method of working and study help them understand the book better. It hasn't happened to me either, but thats probably because the past few books I have read I decided to shoot out of the literary "cannon"... literally.... the books kinda exploded against the target at the range I went to. But coming back to the actual discussion at hand, I'm not too sure if using blogging will actually help us understand the book more. It makes us approach the book differently than a book report does, so I think that's better. It may also provoke a sense of desire and enthusiasm students generally dont have, and that will definitely help. Only time will tell if these new methods will improve our comprehension.
This has been your favorite English class troll with an actually, and surprisingly serious post. Until next time.... whenever that will be.... I hear the economy is in crisis and the government is in trouble. I might have to take a break to go instill some common sense and solutions up in capitol hill, so I might delay in my posts. By the way, I gave up on writing in Spanish; Google Translate is pressing charges.... I think.... but anyway. Until next time.