From today’s NY Times: Can Johnny Blog?
This may be the year that school blogs come into their own. A school blog is simply a Weblog – an online blend of diary, links and commentary – that is used by teachers and students.
Blogs seem to be a natural way for teachers to maintain a class Web page and for students to handle research projects. One site for classroom blogs, schoolblogs.com, lists more than 1,200 worldwide, up from 800 a year ago. And new blog sites for teachers have sprung up, like the Educational Bloggers Network (www.ebn.weblogger.com).
One of the trendsetters among educators is Will Richardson, supervisor of instructional technology at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, N.J., who made use of blogs in his journalism and English classes last year to foster discussion and collaboration as well as to showcase students’ work.
Students in his class on modern American literature, for instance, created a blog to study the novel “The Secret Life of Bees” (weblogs.hcrhs.k12.nj.us/bees) by Sue Monk Kidd. The author posted a 2,300-word message, and a group of parents read along and contributed their thoughts. Other Web users also happened upon it.
“The whole collaborative aspect blogs bring to the classroom is what I took away from my experience last year,” Mr. Richardson said. For this academic year, he is planning a collaborative blog with students in Krakow and Prague to study the Holocaust. Mr. Richardson’s efforts are chronicled – where else? – on his Weblog (www.weblogg-ed.com).
Pretty cool! Another little nudge to the tipping point…