Margaret Simon asks a question: Tapping Student Connections
How do we tap into student interests and create online learning environments for them to connect to and learn from?
That is the question for DigLit Sunday bloggers from Margaret Simon. And I’ve written an invitation to stay connected as Middle School educators here. This post continues that invitation.
What about a hub — a blog of prompts for students?
One way I thought of is to form a group of Middle Level Educators who collaborate on a blog of prompts from which students respond, connect to other students, and perhaps plan collaboration on the prompts. The blog would be the hub of student choice, or teacher guidance, a Make Bank of our own. I created such a blog for us to develop to get us started and, for #clmooc-ers, to stay connected:
Connect 2 Learn
If you’re already interested, here’s the spot to join by sending me an email: Contact Connect2Learn and choose “Facilitator Request” so I can add you to the blog as facilitator.
A bit more on Connect 2 Learn:
When we write, we often write first for ourselves to gather ideas [inside/personal], and then share and discuss with others [responsive/connective]. Next we may share out to inform [purposeful/informative/narrative], and we may also share out to help others or make the world better [social action/argumentative/persuasive].
I thought perhaps these purposes would be good ways to organize the blog:
Do I want to be reflective / personal and perhaps share that with others [responsive]?
Do I want to take what I know, add it to others idea’s? [responsive]
Do I want to share information or a story? [purposeful]
Do I want to make the world better? [social action]
Of course, these are recursive — each of us moves through these frames of writing, these frames of thinking about writing — as we develop our projects. These frames are not my ideas, but rather are the work of Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast (Liz Stephens and Kerry Ballast (2011). Using Technology to Improve Adolescent Writing: Digital Make-Overs for Writing Lessons) who present this new paradigm for writing lessons that includes the four frames, four lenses to view process writing and assignments. I thought they made a great way to organize our collaborative prompts. [I’ve written about this here and here [scroll down].
But: it would be our blog. Join, and help build it: Contact Connect2Learn and choose “Facilitator Request” so I can add you to the blog as facilitator.
But how do we discuss and plan our projects?
Many people have commented on how difficult it is to follow threads of conversations — and find them again on Google Plus. So I researched and discovered another platform — MightyBell that serves as a focal point for general members, allows for smaller communities within the larger one [think planning projects with a team of educators], and even smaller circles of projects. That sounded like a possibility for better conversation and collaboration. Of course we would always stay connected throughout the year with #clmooc.
So I created Connect in the Middle community at Mightybell with a circle for planning the collaborative blog called Connect 2 Learn, same name as the blog.
Please consider joining with myself and others — for planning and collaboration, join these two communities:
Connect in the Middle community
Connect 2 Learn Circle
and the collaborative blog hub:
Connect 2 Learn Contact Connect2Learn
Hopefully, these will help us stay connected as Middle School educators, planning projects with and for our students, to identify the entry points for play and learning, and to lead them towards a connected learning path.