Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Technology: Friend or Foe?

The title of this posting expresses what my thoughts were one week ago today. I wasn't really sure if I liked technology (at least Blogger). Today, I think that I have decided whether blogger is a friend or a foe. Please read on. :-)

I was very excited about beginning a new adventure in my 6th grade classroom. My students would be composing writing in the form of blog posts instead of the traditional "writer's workshop notebook". I had planned it out to the tinnest of details. My Keynote presentations were ready to go, with plenty of screenshot images to guide my students through the process of setting up their Blogger accounts. I had even created a preplanning graphic organizer so that students could think about a blog title and brainstorm topics for their first post. I was so prepared! Nothing could go wrong, right?

Day 1: It takes 20 minutes to get all 26 of my students logged-in to their email accounts for the first time. A few minor issues, but all the students are now gmail users! Yippy! Next, I begin my beautiful and well organized presentation. The class is doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing: click here, now scroll down, click here, etc. We get to the final step before creating the student blogs. This is going well! I instruct my students, "Click the button that says 'create blog'." Immediately, hands fly into the air as every student gets the same message: Please enter a valid cell phone number to validate your google account. WHAT?? That did not happen to me. It also did not happen when I set up a student blog earlier in the day. I knew that it was supposed to work! Is this really happening to me??
All students log-out, I take a deep breath, and tell them that I will figure it out before tomorrow. After school, I 'google' the issue in search of answers.
To be continued...

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