Oh my goodness, I just finished all the reading for Thing 4 about blogging in education. My head is spinning with questions and ideas. One overall theme that emerged from many of the readings was the idea of teaching kids new literacies appropriate for our time. The post that Anne Davis wrote about this especially resonated with me. Do we still need to teach kids to read books? Well yeah, of course. But we also need to teach them to efficiently read digital text as well (and I’m not talking about e-books). One of the questions for reflection was about how blog reading/writing is different from reading on paper. I think it comes down to being dynamic versus being static. Blogging is more like engaging in a conversation. You write your ideas and then your readers respond. The conversation can grow and deepen and spin off in a hundred different directions. Reading a book isn’t like that. The text and the ideas in the text aren’t going to change from one day to the next. It’s a one-sided conversation, for lack of a better description. I feel traitorous even suggesting that books have an inherent flaw as a vehicle for ideas because I’m an admitted bibliophile. Even now as I sit in my living room writing this, I can glance around and see at least one book on every table surface and a few on the floor. I should probably pick those up. But anyway, I get it now. Blogging is about engaging in a conversation that everyone can learn from. Collaboration and connected learning are important concepts for 21st Century learning. So why shouldn’t blogs be a new literacy for 21st Century learners?
Okay, so I’m on board with the concept, but I’m still stuck on the question that I’ve been stuck on for a while. How do you do this with younger kids? The post by Bo Adams talks about teaching kids to use these kinds of tools just like we would teach kids to drive a car. But you wouldn’t teach an eight year old to drive a car. It’s hard to wrap my head around how to safely and effectively incorporate something like blogging with my younger students. Thankfully some of the blogs in the sample blog reading list gave me some ideas. I especially liked the SSR 2.0 post in Mark’s Edtech Blog. I do SSR! I could totally do this! The other idea I really liked was from this post in Debbie Stephens’s Learning to Grow blog. Blogging student ideas about a book/author study? I could totally do that too!