A New Class of Blogs

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A good positive article in the Seattle Times on ‘Teachers reaching out to students with a new class of blogs’. Nothing ground-breaking for teachers who have been working with these things for a while but nice to see a mainstream media article without fear, paranoia and hysteria when the word MySpace turned up. A couple of things I liked in the article were:

“Never in 25 years of teaching have I seen a more powerful motivator for writing than blogs,” Ahlness said. “And that’s because of the audience. Writing is not just taped on the refrigerator and then put in the recycle bin. It’s out there for the world to see. Kids realize other people are reading what they write.”

For teachers, the question is: “What is it about MySpace that is so compelling to kids, and how do we take advantage of that in the classroom?” said David Warlick, founder of Class Blogmeister (classblogmeister.com), a blog service for teachers. Education-specific sites offer security features not found on commercial ones.

Teachers use blogs, or online journals, in different ways. Some post homework assignments and links to relevant Web sites; others describe key events of the day to keep parents in the loop. Most commonly, students post written responses to a teacher’s query.

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