The NEA has New Kids on the Blog which offers about as hip and upbeat assessment of the potential of blogs in schools as I’ve seen.
When Maeve, a Maine fifth-grader with a mammoth conscience, hears some troubling information about the Mars cocoa farms in West Africa, she doesn’t whisper it across the lunch table—she announces it on her blog. Within minutes, her classmates furiously respond, hunting for the M’s on their keyboard. “I am never going to buy M&M’s again!” types one young activist. “Thank you for this information,” writes another.
students working at computerJunk-food discourse, summer vacation advice, and Red Sox statistics all fly across the wires in Lisa Plourde’s writing workshop at the Connors-Emerson School in Bar Harbor, using fresh technology called Web logs or “blogs.” A blog is a Web site that allows its author to type, type, type, and then receive comments from readers in a sort of digital conversation.
Rosie O’Donnell has one, as does NBC weatherman Al Roker. But so do Ally, Emma, Amethyst, Nick, Rebecca, Hadley, and the rest of Maeve’s classmates in Bar Harbor, as well as thousands of teachers across the country.
Oh yeah. Uh-huh.
The use of Weblogs to share personal thoughts and opinions over the Internet is capturing the interest of students across the world. But because content can be irreverent and even offensive, administrators are justifiably wary about using blogs in school. With the right guidance, Weblogs can be one of the greatest online communications vehicles in K-12 education.
Someone pinch me…