And yes, there is a lot of evidence that regular journalling will improve writing naturally without a lot of editing and critque by a teacher.
I'd ask what's missing from the process that the kids aren't engaging? How can we reach them and get them invested in the process? Is there another way to reach the goal of regular online contributions (assuming that's the goal) or to get kids writing more? Maybe they don't get the purpose of blogging? Maybe the topics or prompts aren't appealing. Why aren't their imaginations getting lit up and shifted into gear?
In 6th grade we wrote a TON. We created speaches and presented them to each other, selling silly products or teaching our friends to do some silly invented thing we dreamed up. We also had a great creative writing teacher that encouraged us to use colorful descriptive active writing and we spent every Friday reading our stories to each other. I grew to LOVE writing through that process.
Following the logic of the Project Approach... key into what interests the kids, allow them to develop the questions and "discover" the tools and processes they can use to engage with the topic, then I'd hope they'd increase their writing about that topic especially in mediums they'd decided to use from a list of choices (wiki, blog, social network, website, book, magazine, etc...). I believe I'd turn to the evidence on how project approach develops writing skills and use blogging as a tool in studying topics chosen by the students. If it's a true project, the rule tends to be hands off the writing technically and focus on the content. Well place comments from a teacher embedded in tons of praise can go miles. For example, excellent thinking student, I am enjoying your thought process and investment in the project and interest in the subject (by the way, I might have misunderstood this line because of punctuation, how would you fix this?) over all, what a great start to your project, what are you doing next? If it's blogging, I'd send that coaching via the blog. Students seeing others getting props are going to want some of the same.
What class is this for? Or is this in general about how much to "interfere" with student's writing?…
It's a simple template to make e-learning materials more concise and structured, and hopefully more effective.
The aim is to break each part of the learning process into separate sections. Please let me know if it needs more explanation.…
ine project website.
While developing effective teamwork and collaboration skills are considered important to the learning process, many students find group work challenging and difficult. In this episode we explore how Internet technologies can improve the collaborative process within online teamwork, and offer some useful strategies for facilitation and assessment.…
n the classroom, they "ARE," in fact, the experts. They must be included in the decision making process, and they must know that their input is valuable, and see proof that it is being used. If cursory attempts are made to include teachers, they will know, and any efforts made from the top down will be futile.…
get their students to meet the standards.Below is a portion of a standards-supported document I created to help top level administrators understand the value of VoiceThead. (Obviously they would need to see it as well, since to see something like VT is to love it.~ However, we're lucky if we can get 5 minutes in front of them.)
My vision for what you are trying to accomplish is to have an area where you list the tool, explain it, link to generic (not state specific) standards, maybe one link to good research, and maybe suggest upcoming conference and sessions dedicated to the tool where anyone can go for further F2F or online learning.
Example of standards linked to VT:
Since VoiceThread may be integrated within any area of the curriculum, it is difficult to assign standards specific to the use of VoiceThread alone. Listed below are a few standards that would easily be met by using VoiceThread in any lesson. Other standards would depend on additional content included.
Information and Media Literacy
- The student comprehends the wide array of informational text that is part of our day to day experiences.
- The student uses a systematic research process for the collection, processing, and presentation of information.
- The student develops and demonstrates an understanding of media literacy as a life skill that is integral to informed decision making.
- The student develops the essential technology skills for using and understanding conventional and current tools, materials and processes.
- The student engages in the writing process and writes to communicate ideas and experiences.
- The student effectively applies listening and speaking strategies.a…