Students as Learners and Teachers

Please reflect on the video A Brave New World-Wide Web we viewed together in class today as you respond to each of the following questions:

  1. What connections did you make to your own learning experiences?
  2. What connections did you make to the experiences you’ve had teaching others?
  3. This video was intended to move the thinking of educators.  What did you take away from it?

Please add your responses to this post by clicking on the Responses button below.

Please note:  you have the choice of entering your responses as text, audio or video message.

Once you have posted your answers to each question, click Submit Comment to save your post.


Blogging: Why Bother?







Image: Kristina B

Happy, Happy New Year!

As we look forward to the new year, it’s exciting to imagine how our explorations and learning will take shape over the next 6 months.  What goals will you set for yourself as learners? As collaborators? As connectors of people and ideas?

One blogger from whom I’ve learned and connected a great deal is Silvia Tolisano.  She recently wrote about Teachers learning to blog FOR their students.  An excerpt from her post reads:

There are literally millions of blogs out there:

  • some of very poor quality
  • some with topics that hold no interest to you
  • some written in a voice that doesn’t keep your attention
  • some written so well that you can’t believe you get to read them for free
  • some that will change the way you view the world forever
  • some from which you will learn everytime you just think about them :)

As you prepare to begin blogging about your own learning journey, take a moment to consider the work of the student bloggers linked below.  As you read each one, be aware of your own thinking and learning…

  • Note the quality of each blog and the age of each author.
  • Do the topics interest you?
  • Does the writer use a voice that keeps your attention?  Or makes you wish there were more to read/see/hear?
  • What different modes of communication do the authors use (images, text, audio, video, other…)?
  • How do the authors invite you into their conversation?
  • What else do you notice about these blogs?

Student Blogs:

  1. Jake’s Online Journal
  2. Jarrod’s Awesome Blog 
  3. Miriam’s Magical Moments
  4. Gemma’s Blog
  5. *Jaden’s Awesome Blog

*Jaden invites fellow student bloggers to join his “Ultimate Blogging Challenge”, a spin off of the Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge.  Read his post carefully…what could be gained from a Challenge with no “prize”?


As a comment to this post, please share the following:
  1. What do you like about the “writing”? Style, modes of communication, content, length of posts, language, author’s voice, resources, something else?
  2. Is there anything you might try to avoid as a blog “writer”?
  3. What 5 “tips” will you take from these blogs and use as you build your own blog
  4. How might using your Wonder topic help you get started as a blogger?


Sharing Our Wonders

Imagine this blog as our space for sharing updates and milestones along our quests for answers to our Wonders … a common space to be shared among the members of our learning community.

Given our activities and discussions in class, what guidelines do you feel are the most important for our community to keep in mind as we share our discoveries, resources, challenges and questions with each other and the world?

Please share your “Top 3” guidelines as comments to this post.

To Reply, simply:

  1. log in with your username and password
  2. scroll to the bottom of the post
  3. enter your Top 3 suggestions
  4. click on Submit
  5. Voila! Your thoughts have been shared

Welcome “56Thinkers”!

What We Wonder will be our space for posting, connecting, commenting and reflecting on What We Wonder about our world.

As you search for answers to your Wonders, our hope is that you find yourself commenting on, questioning and connecting with the ideas, inquiries and connections of others.  We comment to connect. We connect to learn…sometimes from our peers, sometimes from scholars, sometimes from people on the other side of the world. Throughout this process, you will have opportunities to respond to posts, videos, blogs, wikis, and more.  Our comments can express our opinions about what has been posted, tell stories, share experiences, exchange ideas, gather information, or simply offer a different perspective.

As you prepare to take on this new role, please consider the advice offered below.  Is there anything that needs to be added to this list?

Think about your digital privacy:

  • Use your first name only to identify yourself.
  • Leave off your home email, your street address, phone number, or school name.
  • Don’t share specifics of your daily routines that involve time and location (ie where & when your soccer practice is)

Think about the tone of your comment:

  • Be polite, friendly, and encouraging.
  • Have some humor, but be careful with sarcasm. Remember: readers cannot hear your voice, or see you smile.
  • If you disagree, offer constructive (helpful) feedback.

Think about the content of your comment:

  • Keep your comment on topic and make sense. Say something about the original post.
  • Don’t say random stuff or get really silly.
  • Be more formal than you would in real life, but not stuffy.
  • Avoid texting shortcuts like u for you and l8r for later, and only use one emoticon if necessary.
  • Adding a related question at the end of your comment is a great way to keep the conversation going.
  • Include your blog url (address) so the blogger knows where to find you.

Think about conventions of your comment:

  • Try to fix your spelling mistakes: use Firefox for drafting your comments (the red-line feature is visible).
  • Use capitals in the right places: people’s names, places, the beginning of a sentence, and on “I” –no evil i’s. All capitals is like yelling.
  • Punctuate properly: period at the end of a sentence, space after a period, comma, or end bracket. One “!” will do: you don’t need a string of exclamation marks.
  • Remember, you are putting your best self forward, so polish your comments.
These guidelines written by the 2010-11 bloggers of Huzzah!. Want more inspiration and guidance for commenting? Check out this post from the Student Blogging Challenge. Time to brush up your blogging skills!