I’ve gotten two e-mails in the last two days from educators who are doing what I think are great things in the classroom with blogs. (I love it when that happens…)
At Warren Consolidated Schools in Michigan, they used Weblogs to connect students from 20 different schools to collaborate in an “Authors in Autumn” project where they created an interactive story:
The interactive story is designed to allow students to add paragraphs to the main story in “Real-Time”. As soon as they type out their part of the story and click submit, their portion of the story is instantly added to the main story. Participating Media Specialists will help coordinate and facilitate the use of the technology as students work to create a truly unique story with many twists and turns. We hope you are as excited as we are to see how the story develops. This is truly an exciting and fun activity for the students which promotes collaboration among staff, students, and schools.
Chris Kenniburg writes that the blog had an effect:
With instant results and the participation of many schools in the district, students were eager to learn about story writing techniques. This new use of technology was exciting and easy for the students and adds a new twist to how blog technology can be used by teachers in a learning environment.
They are going to follow it up with a live distance learning event between a number of schools and the authors. The links to the stories are slow, but they do show up eventually
The second example is from Bill Deneen at Mt. Holyoke College. Get this:
We have a group of students and a professor going on a tall ship, the HMS Bounty, for a 2-week course in sailing and seamanship. As part of the course, students will write about their experiences as they happen, posting to a blog via satellite phone. It’s a meeting of 19th century transportation and 21st century communications, all in the name of education.
Ok, first of all, where do I sign up? Second of all, is that cool or what? Connecting, collaborating, communicating, constructing…lots of learning on the high C’s. I know, bad joke. But stuff like this really makes it clear that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface…