Web 2.0, Oh the Possiblities!

What a successful week. I modeled using wikis in my 9th grade classes so that they could collaborate on research and, for the most part, it was amazing! I checked out the kids pages and they have been posting videos, audio, lots of links on their topics and general resources. They seemed amazed that they could both be on the site in different places and be able to still work together. I hope the trend of high-interest continues. We also continued blogging in 9th. I had my first instance of a student using it as a social space. I nipped it in the bud immediately by deleting the social thread and sending a blog comment to the student. I think the key to this working is diligence and participation on the teacher’s part. I do really enjoy the discussion that seems to crop up about books, it seems more authentic than just a reading log.

My AP Lit students started The Things They Carried and that has also been fantastic. Again my students have been blogging as they read and the results have been eye-opening. These kids are mature writers and think critically naturally when they read. Their blogs have been thoughtful and highly interactive. I think because it is an informal space and their peers are their audience, it has led to truly authentic engagement with and discussion of the text. Also, I see my shy kids pop up a lot more online than in face-to-face discussion. I don’t why I did not try blogs earlier!

Next week, Flickr…

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