The new semester is about to begin. Actually, classes don't start for 2 more weeks, but the final preparations for the semester have already begin.
As you may remember, if you have been reading this blog for awhile, the issue of getting my students to blog is one that is, at best, problematic. The seminary college where I teach is required to get its internet access through the archdiocese. Our students are bound by the same rules and limitations that apply to all Catholic schools (including elementary schools) in the area. And the archdiocese has seen fit to block blog sites.
I was optimistic that I might be able to get the students blogging on edublogs.org, but I have just discovered that it, too, is blocked.
Now, before you tell me that I might be able to get a particular site unblocked, let me tell you that I have considered asking for that. The problem that I see is that it is entirely possible that I might get it unblocked today but in a month or two or three they would decide to block it again. I am not sure I want to start my students blogging with that possibility hanging over our heads!
And, I must also point out, my students don't really have access to the internet except through the college. They live here as well as study here, and the only public access internet is at the public library, and it is difficult for my students to get there.
I haven't given up on this yet, but I am not overly optimistic, either. My main concern at this moment, I think, is trying to be sure that I would have a real way to use blogs in my classes if I can get my students blogging. It will be a lot of work to arrange, if it can be done, and I want to be sure it will be worth it. So I am really looking at what I normally do and seeing if I have real uses for blogs already or what I can do to create authentic uses for them. I wrote about this a couple weeks ago. I keep thinking about what Konrad over at the blog of proximal development had to say about not using blogs just to replace paper journals. I think I have some ideas, but I am not there yet.
Anyway, I just wanted to check in and let you know where I am at in terms of getting my students blogging. Wish me luck!