About 1.5 weeks ago I rolled out my class blog (Mr. Lane's Computer Applications/Web 2.0 Blog
) as an interactive tool with my 8th grade Web 2.0 technology class (the first few weeks it served, more or less, as a Web 1.0 tool). After working through the layout of the blog, we read together a post, and then I asked them to submit a comment. Before they commented I spent some time discussing the importance of making sure the comment was free of spelling and gramatical errors so the content did not become diluted. I modeled a solid response and directed them to a page which containted all the requirements and expectations. As they commented I wandered the room helping those who were struggling to put sentences together. Unfortunately, the spelling and gramatical errors still got in the way of the content. I allowed their comments to be approved as I wanted them to see what I was seeing and have a sense of success.
Over the last the week I have continued to work with the students on how their minor errors do make a difference. However, they appear to be actually getting worse. It seems they are so comfortable commenting as they would on MySpace that they do not even see the possible problems. I have suggested that they type their comment in Word and then copy and paste once they have edited their work (no one has taken me up on this). The plan was to get them to create a class blog and then their own. However, as it stands right now I am a bit hesitant to go much further until I can get this issue under control.
So... I am looking for some help. What suggestions or ideas do you have or have used that might help me get the students writing in the right direction? Please help!