As usual, Anne is pushing the envelope with a really interesting project dealing with ESL students teaming up with native English speakers using Web logs. She says:
The premise is that weblogs can be used as an effective tool for language learning for ESL (English as a Second Language) students as well as native English students. Providing opportunities for increased social, academic, and technological participation will facilitate the process by which ESL students can more quickly and efficiently develop their language skills. The native English-speaking students will also learn and develop their language skills and have the additional opportunity to practice helping others with skills they have already internalized. Cooperative learning can improve achievement and relationships. Students of different ethnic backgrounds have much to learn from each other. My belief is that when working together, they can gain a greater respect and learning from each other and reach higher academic goals.
Well said, and it’s just another example of what I think is the most powerful part of what Web logs can do…bring people together to learn. I mentioned a couple of days ago that we’re trying to hook up some of our students with a class in Sao Paulo for a cultural exchange. Web logs make that so much easier, and they provide so much more flexibility than older models. The opportunities for such collaborations are limitless, and I think one goal of the edu-Web logging group should be to promote and facilitate more collaborations like this. I just put Anne’s project feed into my aggregator and will be following and learning along.