Hi First Years:
here are a few thoughts about your progress in LiveJournal since the beginning of semester. Most of you have now mastered the tasks of uploading and of making your LiveJournal look visually interesting. Some of you are still to learn the "art" of uploading images into your LJ. Images can really support a poem or a story; they can also personalize your space. Overall I am very pleased with the extent to which many of you have responded to the suggestions I have made each week and are starting to develop your own creativity in a variety of ways: effective interpretations of texts; poems and stories based on your own experiences and often inspired by a poem or story read in class; valuable commentaries on the work of one of your LJ friends. The best Journals have been those in which students have been very consistent in their entries, improving from week to week, learning from their friends and experimenting in a variety of ways. So if your marks are down then the reason is probably because you are not using the technology as fully as you could be. Reading through all these journals has been a wonderful insight into the joys, difficulties and achievements of 107 first year students!!.... Now for the good news: I have enlisted the help of a team of 2nd and 3rd year students who are going to shortly help you more directly in your LiveJournal work. Using LiveJournal "Blogs" in a Literature Unit is an innovative use of cutting -edge technology and I am keen to help you get as much from using LiveJournal as you possibly can; it is clearly something that many of you will be using with your own students in years to come... so be ready for the Help Team who will be coming your way very very soon!!!!!
..............................And let me say here that I believe that LiveJournal, when used as a support to literature teaching, allows you to deepen your understanding of the texts you are reading by prompting you to informally express your insight and to share this with others; I also believe that LiveJournal -with its immediate audience- empowers you to create your own literature, helping you to be less fearful of giving voice to your experience, thereby deepening your understanding of the creative power of language and of form- there is no better way of knowing how poetry works than to write your own poem and have its qualities discussed by your teachers and your peers; I believe finally that LiveJournal helps you in your social networking and collaborative learning- never before in my more than thirty years of teaching have I seen a class get to know each other and their creative ideas so quickly.... so keep a keen eye and ear open for that team that is about to streamline and HELP this process even more!!!!