Recently, Wesley Fryer forced me to realize that I am simply "digitizing school 1.0 (as he put it at NECC)". While I thought I was using my classroom blog (www.mrfowler.wordpress.com) in an innovative way, I am pretty much just having my classroom have a conversation with themselves electronically. While this does improve typing skills, it doesn't incorporate conversation with the outside world. For this reason I have a few questions:

1. How do others incorporate blogs into the school day?
2. What type of topics do you blog about?
3. What strategies have been effective in bringing in genuine collaboration between students and professionals in the real world?

I am very anxious to hear what others are doing!

Cheers,
Mitch

Tags: Blogs, Collaboration, Elementary Education, Wesley Fryer, blogging, elementary

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I understand that www.learnerblogs.org is working on it, but they haven't quite got the interface finished...
I think you are doing a great job Mitch. I did a tech summer camp (http://ppsblogs.net/tech_cadet_boot_camp ) with kids in grades 4-6 this summer and I had some of the same misgivings. But what I found was that given the daily need to write and an increased task demand over time, the writing skills of my kids improved. I started the kids off with a 4 sentance minimum for their comments and worked them up to "7 complete sentances with elaboration". They groaned and complained the entire way, but on the last day (we worked 4 days a week for 3 weeks) I "gave them a break" and let them do 4 sentances. The kids were very excited and the writing didn't take very long at all. You can tell the difference in their writing from day 1 to day 12 and the only writing instruction given was individual conferences for the 1/2 hour at the end of the day that they were composing their blog entry. I realized that even in the 12 days we did a lot for those kids in their writing. Imagine how much you are doing...

Ruth
http://ruthokoye.edublogs.org
I'm a strong advocate of students interacting with and reflecting on their learning. Here are a couple of great examples:

Grade 2-3 Blogging and Podcasting
http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=3fb6a6eebd0f6146aa70

Middle School Blogs and Wikis
http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=1486a538c0eaa45dd167
Evidently our grade school is behind the times. How would I get student blogging started?
I've written about how I got started on my blog A Not So Different Place. Also if you read the forums, search for "student blogs", here at Classroom 2.0 you'll learn tons. Be sure to get parent permission, let me know if you need a parent letter--I've got a comprehensive one you can copy.
Thank you Nancy. I just joined Classroom 2.0 and am definitely a rookie.
I incorporate the Blogs as WebQuest. I design my Blogs with the sections as a basic webQuest. Then I added links, videos, photos, articles of newspaper,etc. Themes: Global Warming: Problem: How we can minimize the effects of Global Warming in _____(write the name of your community, city, town, etc.) Another theme will be The Emperor Penguins. You can introduce the class with the DVD movie and the you can teach them how to design a blog about the Emperor Penguins...example: www.blogger.com the instructions are very friendly . This topic it's fantastic to integrate another classes...
Do you have a sample I can see?
yes, but is in spanish. I can write in english if you want.
Can you try it? see in
http://compartiendogeografia.blogspot.com/
http://msotoedu648.blogspot.com/
No thanks Mayra, I don't need to see them in English--I got the idea by looking at your Spanish versions. How do you think they are working compared to a tradition webquest?
yes. It has the basic sections. I added som tutorials, some scalfolding.
Hi. I've struggled with similar problems in my fourth grade class. The way the we've achieved success is to have "Book Clubs" online using our blog. The kids respond to postings regarding the books and they seem to really enjoy it. Hope that helps!

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