OK, I stole this one. But as all of you know, in this profession, good thieves are almost as valuable as innovators. In fact, I would posit (you see how I just dropped that one in there, getting all debatey on you?) that the thieves are the ones who really spread the good ideas to the masses. They are the ones who mutate and translate the cutting (bleeding?) edge ideas into the vernacular/Vulgate that everybody and his mom can understand and use. (My boy is taking Latin, so I am feeling the need to bust out my Jesuit education now and then.)
At a teacher training two days before school started, I met David Preston. I was the only one at his spiel, I think mostly because nobody knew what he meant by an “open source” classroom, which was the main description of his presentation.
(Aside: This training had an interesting format. It was more like a conference with different presenters and time slots, and we could choose which sessions to attend. Kinda groovy actually. I have a half-finished post about the day. Maybe I will actually finish and post it some day.)
I won’t try to give his spiel, but I liked what I saw and heard. One of the things I especially liked was his requirement that every student keep a public blog. I am big on publishing. For me, creating “product” is the whole point. Back in the day, we had the district print shop publish magazines of our writing, and we would sell them for a dollar a copy. Classes would compete to sell out their run. We even sold ads to local businesses until some crab up in admin got worried about “legal issues.” Then I went digital, and we published “webzines” with links from my class web page. I did the same thing with Moodle for a while, but that was too “walled garden.”
David said he used Blogger as the platform for his kids. He talked about how, since Blogger is owned by Google, it’s easy to see your web stats: number of visitors and suchlike. So the kids start competing for page views. Also comments.
Now you have my attention.
It took me a little while to dial in how this idea might work in my classes, but I think I am getting pretty close:
BlogunaLancers.blogspot.com! (Haha. Get it?)
This girl is where I hope to take all of them. We’ve only been at this for about a week and a half. She already has 271 page views!
I am using these blog thangs for everything writing now. More on this Wednesday.