A bookkeeper is coming in today to help subdue my paperwork, and a cleaner is coming tomorrow to help subdue my house. Perhaps by Saturday, life will seem simpler.
My students did very well on their first draft this week, and I’m looking forward to seeing their final papers today. Then we’re going to make a Squidoo lens. I think this will be a cool collaborative project, and none of them had heard of Squidoo, so they all have a level playing field.
I was surprised by the difficulty they had grasping the concept, though. Squidoo, like Wikipedia and Facebook, with which they are all familiar (and like Xanga, for that matter), is a site with user-generated content. That means that people can go publish stuff there any time they feel likeit. And yet students kept asking, “Do they tell us what to put here?” and “I don’t understand. Where’s the one on our topic?”
It’ll be a new adventure.
I’m also surprised by how small their vocabularies are. Is it the case that students used to know more words and now, because they read less, they know fewer words, or is it mere nostalgia on my part? Maybe I’ve just reached the point at which I naturally think things beginning with, “Today’s students…”
7 thoughts on “Thursday June 4, 2009”
It’s ok, I totally don’t get Squidoo either. I don’t know if it’s because they call it a lens or what, but I have trouble grasping it.
The most likely explanation is that when they speak to you they are very, very careful in choosing words they feel safe using.
I’m basing it on things like the fact that they tell me they don’t know words like “altruism.” They shout out “That’s a frontier word!” Since I taught them that term.
Also, I doubt they’re that careful. They like me.
The more they like you, the more important it is to them to make a really good impression on you, and the more careful they’ll be. And they may very well know “altruism” when they see it on a page, but don’t recognize it when they hear you say it, because it never comes up in conversations in their language environment.
Good point. And thanks for not disillusioning me on the idea that they like me.
Wow! I like reading your blog!
I never heard of Squidoo or of a Squidoo lens before you mentioned it. It looks very interesting, and like something I want to do. I company that helps you earn money! What a great concept!
I’ll be doing some research on them, starting with reading some lenses to get a better feel for what it is. And how it differs from a website. A ‘site has pages (plural) whereas (if I understand it right) Squidoo has individual pages. I’m not sure yet how that works, but I’ll find out.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I think we know fewer words. I say things like “vex” and “specificity” with the result of “Wow. That’s quite a word.” from all around the room.
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