We had another live blogging session in my epistemology class today. The kids have really gotten into it; it's definitely become a part of the classroom culture. Actually, yesterday we had a brief moment of panic when I said we were going to discuss the blog topic but not have an online conversation. The kids misunderstood and thought that I was saying that we weren't going to use coveritlive anymore, and I almost had a mutiny on my hands. Today's conversation was "What is the goal of science?" Before we started the conversation, I asked the students to take out their phones and turn them on. There were a few sheepish looks from the students who already had them on, and general confusion all around. One student looked at me, laughed, and said, "You know they're waiting for the snatch and grab, don't you?" Once the phones were on, I had them send text messages to as many people as they wanted to (preferably not other students), asking those people what they thought the goal of science was. It was pretty amazing... I think many of the students were a bit surprised to be using their cell phones and sending text messages as part of class work, but they certainly weren't complaining. As messages came in, we added them to our class discussion on coveritlive, where John Albright and someone named Angel had joined us.
I love the fact that the students have taken to this so readily and have really become much more active participants in class discussions; it's even bringing out the "wall flowers," especially when they could incorporate text messaging. My only wish now is to get more people participating in the live blog that are not only outside of the building, but outside of the district (and not just through text messaging); I've begun posting the links and notifications on Twitter, Facebook, The Global Education Collaborative, and even MySpace, but we haven't quite gotten the response I've been hoping for, at least not yet. Then again, it's new, so I'm not really discouraged, either... I figure once I make this a more regular thing, I'll get more outside participation. (Cross-posted to my teacher blog.)