Teachers Teaching Teachers #35
January 10, 2007
This was the kind of conversation that needed more time. Listen as nine teachers from six states — Paul Allison, NY, Lee Baber, VA , Glen Bledsoe, OR, Susan Ettenheim, NY, Kevin Hodgson, MA, Eric Hoefler, VA, Matt Makowetski, CA, Chris Sloan, UT, and Ken Stein, NY (plus a father from China) — who use blogs, discussion boards, and other Web-based communication tools in their classrooms tell stories about the first half of the academic year. We report on what we have been learning about blogging (and using wikis) with students. We also begin to talk about what our plans are for the remainder of the year.
In the comments at the bottom of this post, please join us with your thoughts about what you’ve learned teaching students to communicate online. What are your stories? Let’s see how many more states — and countries — we can add to the list as we check in with colleagues from all over the globe.
We also want to talk about how to help students who will be ending their classes with us in January can find some closure with their blogs without closing off the possiblities of keeping an ongoing blog.
And please join us next week — and every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern — in the text chat room at EdTechTalk.com.
Teachers Teaching Teachers #27
November 1, 2006
How can we sponsor and deepen the natural swarming that happens in student blogs on a social network? This complex question is where several teachers — Paul Allison, Lee Baber, Madeline Brownstone, Susan Ettenheim, Teb Locke, and Chris Sloan — seemed to be at the end of their conversation here. Teb talked about the kinds of committed writing he is seeing in his 3rd - 5th graders blog, their social network, and their wiki. We also talked about the differences from typical school writing that we are seeingthe personal, digital writing students are doing for their peers on blogs in The Personal Learning Space and Youth Voices.
Has writing really changed? What’s the difference — really — between writing an essay and writing a blog post? Has the use of images really changed the writing process? Digital technologies are great, but don’t we still have to teach kids how to write the way we always did? What’s the difference?
Our conversation this evening began innocently enough with Gail Desler, the technology liaison for the Area 3 Writing Project in and around Sacramento, California, describing her work over the past four years with blogging in the classroom. Last year 3 different Writing Projects and 5 schools joined together in a project called “Youth Voices: Coast to Valley.” Given that we have stolen their name, “Youth Voices” in an attempt to broaden our network of schools, we are delighted to include Gail and her teachers in the elgg at http://youthvoices.net! Last night Gail said that some of the same teachers from last year’s work would be joining the new Youth Voices. A great question that Gail has been asking is, “How can we sustain and deepen online conversations on a blog?” And part of this has to do with finding the right balance between personal blogging and common blogging around a theme or text.