I asked the students in my one section of Sophomore Literature and Composition to establish blogs this week. We’ll be using them for several upcoming assignments, the immediate one being “Thinking Across Disciplines” (a.k.a. the sophomore project). I suggested my students use one of three platforms: WordPress, Blogger, or Kidblog. So far I’m very pleased with the results. The students who chose WordPress selected a variety of excellent themes, and they all look great. The Blogger blogs have a more dark, machine-y, old-school internet 1.0 feel to them, but if they reflect the tastes of their creators, that’s great. Because I haven’t paid up for premium service, the students using Kidblog don’t have any opportunity to personalize their blogs. Nonetheless, they are working fine, too. I was able to leave comments for all of the students who have at least one post up, and there were no snags.
I’m not sharing links to the students’ blogs yet, but in a month or two when they have more posts up and more confidence in their work, I may want to promote their blogs a bit. Of course they are all helping me out by serving as guinea pigs for my plan to remake our summer reading program into a big reading + blogging concept. It will take time to develop the habits of reading and commenting on classmates’ blogs, but we’ll get there. Things are looking good.