I learned how to set up a blog in college and discussed how to use one in the classroom (via wordpress). The only times I have blogged have been professionally- as a student in college and as a teacher with my students. I think it's both wonderful and scary that the world can easily access your thoughts through technology. Wonderful because it connects the individuals around the world in an unprecedented way (although language barriers might be an issue). Scary because once you put something out in cyberspace, it stays there.
I set up a blog last school year with my 12th grade students. They were assigned 2-3 posts per week and had to answer questions related to the reading in class. Other times they had to respond to a newspaper article or a topical question. The students were required to respond to at least 2 other blog posts throughout the week. I had my own account and would blog with the students. I would respond to their posts with brief comments or inquiries. The problem I found was that the students often forgot to post blogs on time and that it lacked flow to the discussions. Overall, for a first time shot at blogging with a class, it went fairly well.
After watching the video on Guerilla Season Book Club, I really like the idea of blogging for the purpose of a book discussion. I might just try it this year with my 9th graders (I have all freshman this year). Concerns of mine would include protecting the student's identity, which was addressed in the video, and assessing the blog posts . I would be interested to hear how the teacher for the Guerilla Season "graded" this assignment.
I like the (intended?) pun "Eracism"- Erase racism, E-racism : )
A lot of this sounds great- connecting kids globally.... BUT how could it fit into the curriculum state/national standards/benchmarks? be logistically feasible as an addition to computer lab time?
At college, there was a group of English professors who created online "videogames" related to literature. A teacher could request a code to enter into a particular literary world such as the world of Shakespeare. Each "world" contained various links that students could read through and explore. Perhaps I'll check up on that and see if there have been any advances.
After reading the other websites, I feel like I have a lot more to learn about the possibilities of technology as a learning tool.