This year has had a slew of first time experiences for me. As shared in my last post, the fall was marked by a first time using UStream and Wiffiti to expand my students’ exposure to an audience beyond the classroom walls. I created my first podcast series with Michael Springer to better share our experience at EduCon. It has also been my first time using blogs; both for students as a classroom blog and with students individually.
When English teacher Steve Olivo and I put our heads together last summer and got to talking about student blogs, the immediate concern was how to best moderate and keep track of nearly 100 student blogs. With students expected to update their blog with a new post weekly (at random times no less, as Steve’s “Any Time This Week” or “ATTW” assignments suggest) it was immediately apparent to both of us that managing so much student generated material would be a bear without a way to organize and keep track of student work.
To our tremendous benefit, Google Reader stood before us as a way to organize students by class, be updated within the reader when new content was available, and allow us to browse numerous posts effortlessly. With a little time upfront, loading each students’ Edublog RSS feed into Google Reader we were immediately setup for quick feedback. I am registered with Google under two usernames to keep my professional development content and student content separate. For student blogs I use the school email while I follow my PD blogs under my personal email account.