Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"theory always comes after practice"

So says Brother Jack to Invisible Man's narrator (359). While the context is very different from the context in which I'm writing today, it does seem an appropriate idea to share. Every time I think something will work in my classroom, I don't know for sure until I've practiced it. Sometimes my theories work. Often, they don't. Of course, that makes the working theories so much the sweeter. And then again, the same idea may not work with a different group of students. I'm seeing that firsthand in my use of a ning in my classes: with one class, it created a sense of community and communication. In a different class, it feels like a dusty corner of the room that people only visit under compulsion. Much less organic, and much less productive.

You never know until you try.


:: tk :: said...

Do tell me more about what a ning is, please.

Larissa said...

A Ning is a social network for the class. It's prettier than a FirstClass course conference—it feels more like the Web as we know it (i.e., Facebook). It's also no longer free beginning this summer, so I'm spending much of the summer considering other options. But having a Ning for my Advanced Comp class was great. To see a very functional example of a Ning, check out the English Companion Ning . And of course, if you want to see the Advanced Comp Ning, just come ask me.