Social Media

Blog Feeds Page + ClustrMap = ?

After my last post, I had hoped for a barrage of comments about my students’ posts on Alfred Crosby‘s Ecological Imperialism; however, my hopes were not immediately fulfilled (or else my students haven’t approved all of your insightful, incisive comments yet). I do, however, recognize that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and therefore blog posts read by an average of 10 people per day won’t immediately have an earth shattering effect. Therefore, I’m willing to be patient.

Nevertheless, I thought as a way to track who was making their way to my classes’ blog feeds page, I’d add a ClustrMap, which will hopefully provide a nice, semi-tangible illustration of how broad an audience their work reaches.

As you can see from this image, no one (expect me, I suppose) has visited the page and ClustrMaps hasn’t yet produced any data; however, I am looking forward to learn what data can be collected about my newly reinvigorated (or has it just been “invigorated” for the first time?) #Comments4Sophs program. Swing by and check out the page. What feedback do you have about its functionality, design, implementation, etc.? Any thoughts that can improve the page are welcome!


3 thoughts on “Blog Feeds Page + ClustrMap = ?

  1. Western Dave says:

    Okay, I looked. I looked at all the titles of the posts and the first couple of sentences. Nothing grabbed me enough to take me away from my own students’ work. This isn’t a knock on your students. It’s just that, like you, I’m pretty swamped. I don’t have the time to read their work and give it the thoughtful responses they deserve. So the question, is, who besides their teachers, and the folks like me who you guilted into looking, does have the time? This is a very serious question as we move forward because I think one of the technofuturist assumptions is that there are tons of experts just waiting to work with high school students and do stuff like read their blog posts. On the other hand, if you coordinated with our AP world teacher, you would have a guaranteed outside audience of peers who might have a completely different take on things.

  2. Nate says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your feedback, and I did see what I now know to be your dot on the ClustrMap (hopefully you didn’t feel too guilted!). I do agree with you about the generally swamped nature of our work and the challenge of giving continual and in depth feedback to our own students, let alone other people’s students.

    Ultimately, I think that’s why a “Blog Swap” type arrangement, like the kind I alluded to in the previous post and you mentioned here about making an arrangement with a teacher of a comparable course would be the best type of set-up. With that arrangement the students become the commenters (sp?) on each other’s posts and it also decentralizes the “teacher-as-all-knowing-sage/critic” dynamic that develops in an ordinary classroom arrangement. It would almost be like a meta-pen pal arrangement, with entire classes hopefully looking forward to hear back from their “buddy” class in some other part of the country or world.

    On a similar note, I saw that Shelly Blake-Plock of TeachPaperless just launched his class’ “History Magazine/Journal” blog at What do you think about this type of arrangement where only certain items make their way into the broader blogosphere for comment and feedback from the educator community? Is this arrangement feasible only because of the following TeachPaperless has already built? Does this approach still place excessive (and unreasonable?) burden on teachers to offer comment on the writing and ideas of students beyond their own? Will this approach engage students in other schools, or just appeal to edublog-inclined teachers?

    Anyhow, I would be interested in talking with your AP World teacher and potentially arranging something. Feel free to shoot me an email.


  3. Western Dave says:

    I couldn’t make heads or tails of the westciv project stuff. I tried to leave comments, but they were way too critical and those folks don’t know me. I don’t want to make anybody cry. The cycles of history piece was so bad, I felt embarrassed for the kid. And “the people” one wasn’t much better. And the teacher arguing that a particular version of the bible was legitimate based on sales figures? I saw a whole lot of sloppy logic and bad historical reasoning floating around. What grade level are those kids? If it’s Upper School, I’d be embarrassed to put that stuff out there. Maybe for middle school it’d be okay stuff. Not that my student’s stuff is always great, mind you.

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