Okay, I made it through the week. It was a bumpy ride, bet we’re there… Blogging with my students was supposed to be an easy task, but it appears the network properties of our institute are not quite comfortable with my strange and open ways. All my students created a blog on Tumblr, posted their first blogposts and are “ready” to start implementing assignments from their language teacher. In the meantime, I trained a couple of my colleagues to work with Tumblr so they can start blogging with the students, after our spring break. I was glad to hear they were enthusiastic about the project and I hope the students will be too, once they are creating their assignments.
Still, I stay somewhat hesitant about Tumblr. Since it’s really a micro-blogging site, I miss a few of the features, more common in a “full-blown” blogging tool. For instance, it was a bit of a hassle to activate the option to comment on blogs. An item standard in most blogging tools. And even now, only people the author follows, can comment! Not quite as open as I anticipated. Also, students who already had a Tumblr account could easily make another blog, but this “secondary” blog was not open to commenting at all!
As I suggested in my last post, next time I will be using a “real blogging tool”, letting the students set them up at home and simply use them in the classroom. The technical problems concerning our network properties were quite frustrating during class, something I desperately want to avoid in a future endeavor. Changing the school network is beyond my reach, but finding my way round it, is an option.
Anyhow, all these troubles got me thinking about “the flipped classroom”. I’ve read a number of articles about it so far, watched some videos and found that this new way of teaching has some benefits! I like the idea that students can learn at their own pace and teachers are able to coach the students in need of help, without slowing down the ones who are proficient in the matter. REAL student centered learning!