Saturday, August 26, 2006

Blogging across the curriculum

As I have mentioned before, our school will be starting with a new structure in 2007: a new structure of leadership and a new curriculum. This is caused in part by our school review (which recommended some changes) and in part by the opportunities created by the Victorian Essential Learning Standards. In VELS, unlike the old CSF (Curriculum Standards Frameworks) structure, the emphasis is on integrated learning, making connections across disciplines and foregrounding the education of the whole person and on thinking and communications skills rather than solely the old discipline based learning, along with the ‘hidden curriculum’. This necessarily involves a change in the structures across the school so that new Learning Leaders have been appointed whose job it is to work with the team of teams at a particular year level and integrate the experiences of that year level. There will still be discipline-based leaders and these are called Domain Leaders whose job it is to look at the scope and sequence of a student’s experiences in the discipline over the six years that they are with us. The announcements of the new appointments will be made next Wednesday.

This brings me to the question of “blogging across the curriculum.” Yes, you heard that right. Not maths or literacy across the curriculum but blogging. And why not? In this interview via Will Richardson’s links we hear the author of Culture Convergence: where old and new media collide, Henry Jenkins, of MIT. In a review of the book we read, “Convergence Culture maps a new territory: where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the power of the consumer interact in unpredictable ways. And in this interview we hear that “Media literacy is not a class, it's a curriculum.” Jenkins talks about the educational use of games among many other topics and the necessity of being ‘undisciplined’ rather than being trapped in the old discipline boundaries. He sees blogs as “interdisciplinary spaces” which embody a “learner’s total integration of knowledge.”

And here is an example of blogging, which shows just this. The student is one I have mentioned before. Her love of writing and learning is shown throughout her blog. I am so proud that she has called her blog My Year Eight English Experience even though it’s much broader than that. The discipline of English was just her jumping off point, but the learning she is engaged in is truly interdisciplinary. The student from Year 8 has been blogging on her own now, about her learning both in school and out of school and her post "Traumatised Women" is my choice for blog post of the week. Good on you, Zoe.

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