Well, perhaps ‘has more of a soft orange glow’ than ‘runs red hot’, but one thing is for sure and that is that over the long weekend, with an assessment task scheduled for Year 12 on Tuesday, the blog got a fair few hits, as well as a few comments. Woot! As well as this I had students emailing me their practice responses so I could give them feedback via email (using Track Changes in their actual Word document, and 2-3 point form points of feedback in the email body).
I know the students really appreciated having the feedback at point of need. I think I have fairly clear boundaries with them, and they always seem to be very mindful of sending me things at the last minute. One student emailing me an essay on Sunday afternoon wrote:
I’m SO sorry for the late e-mail. My nets been down. It’s totally alright if you don’t get a chance to mark it… Well, take care now.
My online experience with my senior classes has been so different to that of my Year 9 class. While the Year 9 students seem intrinsically motivated to contribute to a space that they feel a kind of ownership over (even though I moderate the blog), Year 12 these days will only blog if it is for Homework, or when they are panicking about an assessment.
I wonder if these different motivations are a reflection of their ages, or the context of their study (HSC is a very stressful year and there are great demands on the student’s time)? Or, I wonder if a class that was introduced to blog-based work in the junior school would be more receptive to blogging in senior school.