While reading Stacy M. Kitsis’s “The Facebook Generation: Homework as Social Networking,” I was thinking about Dr. Levy’s composition class. I definitely think I try harder to write something decent because I know my classmates will be hearing it. If you’re not writing for an audience, what’s the point? (Yeah, yeah, self-expression, self-realization, etc.)
In my future classroom, I intend to use the feather circle (under a new name) to have students showcase their writing. However, I also like using Vista to write responses to readings, and responding to other people’s reflections. We used this some in my undergrad, and it was only effective, in my opinion, when we were encouraged to respond to our classmates. I believe I only used it in two classes, and one was only open for the professor to see. For some reason, that was not great motivation for me. If possible, I would like to have some sort of similar set-up for my students to use. It’s important to me to create a community, and I think an online response system can be helpful.
Kitsis also mentions blogs, and I think the two can be very similar, but both present the problem of *technology.* Some students may not have computers or internet access at home, but Kitsis says students can use the media center before or after school. This is true, but some students may not be able to control how early they get to school or how late they can stay. In addition, they may not have ample time anyway to really focus on their writing.
Kitsis also offers the alternative of using journals. I was trying to imagine how this would actually work in a classroom; students write in their journal and then have a peer or multiple peers read their work and comment. Now that I’m thinking about it, it actually seems like it would be more fun for students; kind of like passing notes. Hopefully. I plan to have a five or ten minute freewriting period at the beginning of each class–this would be a good addition to that time.