Email to Blog

I did a little experiment with my f2f capstone English course recently. After we discussed seditious statements and audience appeals in Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man, and then the titillating sexual details of Ben Franklin’s Autobiography, I asked them to pull out their phones.

directions for writing an email reflections and sending it to a wordpress address

Students gamely complied. It was only after most were finished that one student asked, “Where did we just send that?”

“I’m going to show you,” I replied with a smile. The groans and “uh oh”s began. I exited our Prezi and went to our new class blog site, where everyone had just sent their reflections. WordPress allows you to create a private or secret email address so you can email your blog posts directly to the site, and I simply gave the address to my class.

They appear as individual posts: the title of each entry is the title from the student’s email message, and the only way to know whose opinion is whose is by the initials (I went in and edited the post from a students who has an automatic signature attached to all messages so hers would be more anonymous).

It’s a different way to capture that “exit ticket” information, to keep a record of what everyone in the class thought about a topic, to mix it up a little with the BYOD movement.

Students are trying out two additional online tools, the commenting feature on a Google document and a Voicethread, this week, so I’ll have their reactions to share soon!


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