As a result of our visioning session a couple of weeks ago, we had discussions with a couple of schools that want to try something new to incorporate web technologies further into their activities.
Both schools have been supporters of the “Drop Everything and Read” concept. Observations over time have been that it has become a relatively passive activity – a good one – but still in need of something.
So, they’re going to experiment with a concept that they’re calling “Drop Everything and Blog”. The logic is one of scaffolding the concept. You can’t really blog unless you have something to blog about. So, the initial attempt will be to have students and teachers blog about favourite books that they’ve read. Once blogged, classmates will be encouraged to read the original post and comment on it.
The hope is, that by mass involvement, book reading and subsquent writing, will go viral and students will look deeper and respect other opinions about what they’ve read using this medium. The other concept that has been noticed already is that students will take this activity home and compose their replies there as well. It appears to be off to a good start.
Web access extends the classroom beyond the physical limitations of the four walls and into time/space beyond the school day. The process also reinforces some good concepts. You can’t blog unless you can read and you can’t respond unless you can read and critically analyze the original post.
Over time, it is hoped that reading and responding becomes just another regular activity that the students do. Certainly, in a connected world, the citizen journalist has the ability to post their thoughts and comments via their favourite medium. We all see it regularly as attempts are made to support students in these endeavours; it will be interesting to follow how successful this becomes as it moves to a school wide implementation.
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