What was I thinking?
Today I attempted to introduce blogging to third graders on Chromebooks that they are just really learning to use. Students in grades 3 and up are required to have their own blogs in my school. As the writing teacher in my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade team, it is my responsibility to meet this requirement. This means that I get to undertake this monumental task with the youngest learners in my charge.
Today’s session looked something like this:
Me: Okay. Log into your Chromebooks and open Google Chrome. (Hands immediately go up.)
S1: My screen is frozen.
S2: I don’t have a password.
Me: Give your screen a second. It’s the same password you always use to log on to the Chromebook.
S2: Okay. I got it.
A chorus of voices begins to rise: What do we do next? What do we do next?
S1: My screen is still frozen.
Me: Try another Chromebook. Everyone else, put your cursor into your address bar and type in our class blog address. (I demonstrate using the white board and projector.) Be sure to spell it correctly. Once you are there, find your blog link on the left side of the page. (I am still modeling this.) Log in to your blog using your Google log in information. (What seems like a million hands shoot up. I spend the next 15 minutes going from student to student to make sure they are spelling everything correctly, etc.)
S1: I am logged in! Now what do I do?
Me: Ask your neighbor. (Neighbor gladly helps.)
S3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8: I can’t find my blog. Where’s my blog?
Me: I put all of you in. You must be there. Let’s look again…Nope. Hmmm…Class, those of you who are in, please bookmark your page and get your writing notebook. You may free write for a moment…(or two or three…)
I spend the next 10 minutes frantically recreating blogs for the six whose blogs are missing.
Finally, we are all at the same point. I reconvene the entire group and decide to slow the process even more to one excruciatingly slow step at a time. Eventually, every student is on his/her blog and writing his/her first blog post. I sink into a chair, slowly let out my breath, and look at the clock.
Me: Oh my goodness! It’s time to go! (Quickly demonstrate how to save a draft.) Quick, quick. We’ll finish tomorrow.
Again, what WAS I thinking???