By Jessica Charles ‘17 and Sumiya Kibria ‘17
Making good use of teenagers’ love for technology and desire to be heard, Ms. Catherine Kaczmarek’s journalism students were assigned the blog project, in which they create group blogs on blogger.com and meet once a week in room 345(computer room).
Students had the liberty of making their own groups of three or four and deciding on a theme for the blog. There is a wide number of different themes amongst the journalism classes, including music, food, politics, and even anime. Once a week, each member of the group must post to the blog regarding their theme. This provides students with the chance to express themselves and include their opinions on certain subjects.
“I’ve always wanted to start this project, but I never knew how to start it. I finally learned and when I realized room 345 was available, I knew it was the right time to begin,” said Ms. Kaczmarek.
One of the blogs created is called New York Must Eats, which gives insight about the best places to go eat in New York. This page is filled with reviews on different diners and restaurants. Another blog is called Knowledge On College, which contains information on the difficulty level of certain colleges and gives advice on choosing colleges.
According to journalism student Franchesca Gumabon ‘17, the blog project has a lot to offer and benefits students in many ways.
“I feel that through the blog, us students are able to express ideas that we want to put out there and working with other people who have the same ideas makes it fun,” said Gumabon.
On top of that, students get the opportunity to react to each other’s posts. After posting a blog of their own, students are required to then go on another group’s blog and write a comment on one of their posts. Comments can include anything from constructive criticism to agreeing or disagreeing with a person’s post. This promotes student-to-student interaction and even helps some students come out of their shell.
Journalism student Diana Danh ’17 said, “I’m not usually the type to be forward and express myself but through the blogs I feel like it’s an open and safe space to critique and praise others students’ work.”
Mahmudul Hasban ’17 added, “A blog project would be beneficial for the class. It lets students keep up with the class and what’s going on around them.”
Not only does the blog project let students express their opinions, but it also allows them to enhance their computer skills. Students can play around with web design and alter the way their blog looks by changing the blog’s background, adding subheadings, or even adding a music playlist.
Gumabon added, “My favorite part of the blog project is probably getting to customize the page because that’s the part that makes your page stand out and look unique. It can look as silly or vibrant as you want and it’s really fun deciding on those factors with my group.”
The greatest part of this project are the themes picked by each group. A wide variety of topics connect students through the world of online chatting.
“If I were in journalism I think I’d enjoy the blog project because it’d allow me to use my web design skills and have fun,” said Angel Peregrina ‘17.
Hashan continued, “If I had the chance to, I’d make a blog about sports. I’d make it about basketball. I’d put things like player rankings, team standings, and highlights. It would be fun and simple.”
Ms. Kaczmarek added that she received positive feedback from students, such as how it helps them interact with others, learn new things, and have a laugh once in awhile. “The themes are varied mostly cultural and liked topics, which make them interesting and confusing at times too,” she continued. “It’s hard to keep up with this generation.”
Many students suggested that other English classes should do a blog project like the journalism classes as it helps students interact with each other through the use of internet and exhibit their talent.