When blogs are just what your school does

The image “http://blogs.saschinaonline.org/wp-content/themes/SAS%20theme/images/headr.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Yes we have over 600 student blogs running here in Shanghai. From grades 4-12, students are blogging up a storm. In fact we’re getting to a point that the blogs are part of just what students do here.

Today this e-mail was sent out to all staff from a student (shared here with permission…and excitement).

To whom it may concern,
My name is Caitlin and I am a 8th grader. Recently we have been
working on a project about global issues in my Humanities class.
My group decided to focus on school violence. One of the actions we are
taking in order to lower school violence is a blog. A blog made for teens to
vent and if needed contact us about their problems. This will hopefully get to
teens before they result to violence or catch the violence before it get
serious. We would greatly appreciate if you wouldn’t mind forwarding this email
to anyone who can help, post something about our blog
and linking our blog on your blog or any other website, inform teenagers
about our blog, and finally (if possible) check out our blog yourself and leave
a commit.
Thank you so much,

How cool is this! That the students are starting their own blogs for projects, are using them for learning, for communicating, for collaborating, and for helping others. They are starting to understand what it means to have an authentic audience. I mean, they’ve always understood it. Just now I think they’re seeing the power in the network, the power in learning and communicating in a place that is open and familiar to them for educational purposes.

What I love is that the first thing any student does when they start a new blog is activate the FireStats plugin so they can see how many people are viewing their site. They usually then go to clustermaps or somewhere else on the web and get themselves a map of where people are coming from.

An audience is important to them. It is important to know that someone
else is reading your thoughts, maybe even leaving a comment. They want,
and at this point, crave that authentic audience.

They are also understanding the importance of linking. The e-mail is asking teachers to link to their blog so others can find them. That right there is understanding the power of networks.

When sharing, communicating, and collaborating becomes open….learning happens!

[tags]21st Century Learning, SAS[/tags]

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,