Part of my job here is to monitor and “fix” issues with FA Blogs, though my fixing usually means calling/skyping/emailing @twoodwar or @jimgroom for help.
Each night I check into the wpmu dashboard to see if anything has popped up, scan the bluehost logs for errors, and then skim my Google Reader feed for all the posts and comments that have been posted on FA Blogs that day.
Now that we’re up to 280 blogs in grades 6-12, it’s taking longer and longer.
But–this has become my favorite time of day.
From the sixth-graders, I see fun stuff like this and this. My eighth-graders’ vocabulary “podcasts” have also started showing up along with wonderful reflections from their novel study. I move on to Upper School and see that an author has commented on one of @snobles‘s ninth-grade blogs. The seniors also continue to post about their Exhibits, sharing the ups and downs of their tw0-year focused study on various topics.
I notice older siblings commenting on their younger brothers’ and sisters’ blogs, and friends visiting each other’s blogs to share thoughts.
But what I love, absolutely love, is when I discover the blogs of my former students. Last year’s ninth-graders are now posting in British Lit and World History, and my eighth-graders from a few years ago are reflecting in 11th grade American Lit. On their blogs, I get to watch them grow as thinkers and writers.
When I met with Jim last year and envisioned FA Blogs, we talked about this being a space for students to build a long-term online portfolio. But I never realized what a joy it is to be able to peek into my former students’ lives. I can continue to talk, learn, and share with them by simply checking my feed.
I have an inside view others don’t have, and I love what I’m seeing.