Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Global connections

With regard to blogging in the classrom, I feel as if there has been a tipping point recently. Of the eight Year 9 classes at my school five of them have started blogging. check them out Mr Peeler's class, Mr Cahill's class, Miss Avraam's class and Ms Nankoo's class (and mine). Their teachers have set up class blogs and each student has their set up an individual blog; the teacher has then linked them to the class blog. Finally all the Year 9 blogs are linked on each of the class blogs.

As always some students really love it and love the writing and comments they receive. Some students clearly have the feeling they are writing into a vacuum; their image of cyberspace appears as distant and unpeopled as a outer space it seems. Soon, I hope, they will perceive cyberspace as full of friends, like minded people who can connect with ideas and offer encouragement to the students as writers, thinkers and creators.

I would like to highlight these young writers who I think would love some encouragement: Monique, Tamsyn, Kathy, Kate and Stephanie. If you can spare a few minutes pop over and have a read. Leave a comment if you like.

As well as this, a global project has been started bystarted by Peter Beuhler from Germany. He has gathered together teachers and students from Poland, Spain, Greece, the Czech Republic, Denmark, South Korea, Brasil, USA, Australia and Germany. Not all of the blogs are up yet and some of the teachers are new bloggers themselves, but it is a beginning. All the students are blogging in English at this stage. I will put in the rest of the links later

I have to thank Denis, a colleague in my school for making the connection with Peter for me. I have been giving after school workshops on blogging on a number of occasions and Denis came tio one of these and immediately thought our Year 9s could connect with these similar aged students around the globe.

I normally offer these workshops on a Monday afternoon in a computer lab with an IWB which works really well. We share some refreshments at tables while I show some of the potential of Web 2.0 on the IWB, before moving off to the computers for some hands on exploring of the potential. In the last session I introduced some of the participants to twitter: say hello to missfong and sandcastle.

And now as the fabulous K12 online conference finishes up we find it never really finishes: find it ongoing here at the K12Online Ning.
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