The extension of this for the University world would be, "What if we did this as a professor?"
Do we (academics) believe our students are smarter collectively than us? (Hint) If we don't we need to look at the students more closely. They are gaining.
What if I Did This as a Teacher?" Got this e-mail today from one of the teachers at my school who has been sipping the blog Kool-Aid:
Hey Will. I've been doing all this reading about weblogs and journalism for a research paper that's due Friday (for a graduate class I'm taking). As you know much of it goes into the value of transparency and news as a conversation. I began thinking about how I could use this with the Lamp and Journalism classes and things kind of went in a different direction. Bear with me here....
I was reading an article from the Neiman reports by Paul Grabowicz that said, "Weblogs also can give readers insight into the reporting process itself. This helps strip away the mystique-and misunderstanding-that surrounds so much of what we do as reporters."
And it hit me, what if I did this as a teacher? What if I (or perhaps my student teacher) set up a weblog which demonstrates the lesson and unit planning process and invited feedback from students and parents? How many times have we listened to kids complain about a project we've handed out or called work stupid or a waste of their time? If we invited them into the planning process would they take more interest and ownership in their own learning? What if we posted the objectives and the content that needed to be covered and then let them see how we try to get them to reach those objectives and evaluate their learning. And of course during all of this feedback would be welcome.
As Dan Gilmour says, "Our readers collectively know more than we do." I believe my students and parents collectively know more about US history in the 60's and The Catcher in the Rye (for American studies) than I do, or perhaps the topics being covered in Journalism 2.
Alright. I'm done now. I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this, but the possibilities are exciting. I don't know if my kids would even care to participate or if the administration would be comfortable with this, but I'd like to give it a try. So, what do you think?