Thursday, October 18, 2007

PLN's Again

My freshmen are now on week five of their Personal Learning Networks and I see a huge improvement-not just on their writing, but their thinking. I will say this process has been weighty for me to grade; it takes me about three-four hours to read, grade and give feedback. Each week, I give the students feedback about what they do well and what needs to improve. Students are really seeing the buy-in and I love watching them develop and see their selves in relation to the world. I think they appreciate that they are allowed to view the world through their own eyes, taking it in, and showing WHAT MATTERS (here are those two words once again). It's fascinating to see their conceptions about the world. Each week, they are furthering their thoughts and elaborating more. They pose intriguing questions and there are so many skills they are acquiring by doing this. I want to share a few of the student blogs, so you can see for yourself. I can't wait to continue to further this process and dive even deeper. I can't think of a greater gift to give them than that of opening themselves up to the world around them.

Hannah G.'s Blog posts

Jeremi G.'s Blog Posts

Aaron H.'s Blog Posts

Brett R.'s Blog Posts

Dillon G.'s Blog Posts

Kelsey C.'s Blog Posts

We have a long way to go and hopefully we will be able to start commenting on each other's blogs and on the original posts. I also wanted to comment on the formal presentations. We do these every Friday about 5-6 students per week, twice a semester. I have asked students, as an audience, to do two things: 1) give positive feedback to the speaker and 2) ask questions of the speaker, start a discussion about what they are seeing or agree/disagree with and what they think about the speaker's topic. I have had some extremely poignant and striking conversations. The great thing is is that the student's focus determines the direction of the conversation. There have been times where we don't get to the last two speakers because the discussion has taken off; the students want to speak and let their voices be heard. They feed off each other; they ask questions of the presenter and they are extremely knowledgeable and articulate. I know public speaking is a fear and a challenge for some of these students, but they are challenging themselves and seeing that their voices DO MATTER and they ALL have something to say. The only thing I would like to see is the students start the conversation without me kind of leading them first. I see them starting to take initiative, but sometimes I have to model my thought processes and show them what's going through my mind when a speaker is presenting their blogs and how I can throw that out to them for discussion purposes. I LOVE IT! I look forward to Friday's and I feel a great passion for it.


Blogger Harris_Dubya said...

Mrs. Comp is this is really Mrs. Comp, I have commented on a few of you students blogs and may I say they bring up some poignant discussion topics. You've done a great job allowing them to express themselves freely on blogger.

Have a great day. Dang it I just got Pooh on my pants!

9:15 PM  
Blogger Xavia H2011 said...

Dear Jessie C.,
I enjoyed reading your blog mostly because it was on a topic I was familiar with, PLN's. I am in Ms. Smith's class and we do PLN's twice a week as well. I agree with you about how this is a great way to give us a chance to open ourselves up to the world around us. At the beginning of the semester, I had no idea what a blog was and did not know much about the new and great way of communications on the internet. Like you had said, blogging gives us a chance to communicate with the world through our own words and can influence other people’s thoughts, by showing WHAT MATTERS to us. It really is cool see the world in a new technical way as we explore the new opportunities we have with technology. This gives us a way to expand on our thoughts about what we read and see and also teaches us to elaborate on what we have to say.

You also spoke about PLN presentations. Though I am definitely not a very good speaker, I do enjoy listening to the ideas of my classmates about what they decided to read further on a certain subject and how they responded to the author’s opinions. It also sparks some really good conversations in our class (once someone finds the courage to speak up). At the end of their presentation they are to ask a question to the class on a topic that relates to one of their blogs that they discussed. Then we are allowed to go on and talk about what we think which leads to a couple other topics. I think this part is really nice and gets us to speak up and share your ideas. The only part I don’t always like is when we leave comments on their blog giving them feedback on how they did. I think this is helpful but some people don’t really give you much. They might say things like “Good Job” or “speak up a little” but I still think we could do more.
Overall, I think the whole experience of doing PLN’s has been really good and has really helped with not only my writing but also using the technology we are so fortunate to be able to use.

3:04 PM  
Blogger avereel said...

As a student who is also doing PLNs, it is exciting to hear what others are doing, and how they’re doing it. I know that I at least have learned a lot from this assignment. It’s a great way for students to get involved. So many times, we are oblivious to the world around us. All we see is school, friends, and that hot college guy down the street. PLNs are a great way for us students to broaden our thinking. Not only do we know what fellow students and other teachers are thinking, but also we see life in an all-new perspective. For students like me, who fancy blogging about the news, it is a real eye-opener to what is going on in the real world. Before I started blogging, I had no idea about what was going on. Stories on the news were just, stories. I didn’t know what they were about, and didn’t particularly care. My PLNs forced me to do both, and I can proudly say I am much more aware of what is happening in the world. Even posting on the blogs of others is helpful. We learn to see things the ways others see them. We put on our, as my U.S. History teacher likes to call them, our point of view glasses. PLNs help students in so many aspects of both their academic and social life, so it was really exciting to hear that other classes have started doing them.


8:24 PM  

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