This is for the teachers at Ulearn, kids... but you are most welcome to leave relevant comments.
"...compared to that, we (bloggers) are just a cult.
I think that what we are doing is extraordinarily important. We are drilling through barriers that insist on keeping things the same. But the barriers persist. Too many schools still can’t view blog pages, podcasts, or other social sites. Most teachers have no time built into their work schedules to participate in these conversations. Way too many children do not have access to the technology they need to become in any way acquainted with today’s information landscape. The concepts of Web 2.0 remain couched in tech-speak that is either to esoteric for many to understand or it down-right turns people off."
But back to me - I find blogging to be incredibly valuable as a tool that provides my yr 7 GATE students with a forum for their discussions, an outlet for their passions, ideas and creativity. Within the online forum it provides the students get to feel their work and ideas are important, valued, interesting and worth sharing.
By not making it private and "secure" students are able to experience the thrill of making new friends, sharing thoughts and questions with an exciting and fresh audience. We now have friends all around the world who add interest and vitality to our blogging world. Our Clustermap has registered nearly 8000 hits worldwide since March this year.
[See example: Mr Teehan and his class in New Jersey - blogging, skype]
In our inquiry unit we used our personal blogs to compile information and images which were relevant to our study.
[See Mudpies, Kittymilo, Snowgirl, Hamiltron, Roo, Rosiegal, etc. for examples]
The HCC communications manager, Agent S, as she is known to us, was delighted by our use of ICTs and became our very own mobile blogging agent during the Hamilton400 street races.
As we took field trips and attended City Expos as exhibitors, we noticed we have a graffiti problem. We met Constable Craig and competed in an anti-graffiti poster competition.
We met the directors of the city museums and libraries and discussed ways in which we coudl become more involved in creation of 21st century spaces and exhibitions.
Digital story telling - MARVIN
Kids use Blogger, and Glogster to create and share content. They embed polls, hyperlinks, mobile blogging images and text. They debate, argue, support, affirm, question, share, create, enjoy and work things out.
Why stop them? If you are not an expert, it doesn't matter.
Remember what Prensky told us - they are the Digital Natives...let them play :-)
Room5ian Blogging Tips:
How to get a Clustermap in your blog
How to mobile blog