Can't get enough of the blogging sessions at IL-TCE
I know, I know, I really don't need to attend any more sessions about blogging. I think I have a pretty passable understanding of how blogs work and such. However, I had to attend this presentation. Susan Switzer and Susim Munshi both work for the Chicago Public School system and are sharing their experiences with blogs and how they feel blogs are revolutionizing the world of education.
They shared quite a few stastics from the Pew study that many bloggers refer to on a regular basis. From there, they did a good overview of the different needs that schools are faced with that can be addressed with blogging. I really liked the fact that he made point of saying that the entire process begins with reading. You must learn to walk before you learn to run.
"The nature of a blog is to build community" He suggests that schools leave the visibility open (don't keep it behind the firewall) and restrict the comments to registered members. However, be sure to provide an email link to the moderator so that outsiders have an avenue through which they can join the conversation. Part of the power fo making learning visible to the outside world is allowing visitors to participate, albeit in a controlled manner.
I just spent a few moments exploring their site, Learn2Blog. They have some great resources there, well worth exploring. In particular, the Activities section looks like a great pracitcal way for many teachers to get started.
Lots of people buzzing as they leave the room. I wish I had thought to grab a photo, but I thought it was pretty darn funny how many people were creating blogs on Blogger during the presentation itself. On a related note, the wifi that I've experienced today has been exceptional. Major kudos for ICE (and whoever is providing it obviously) for that.