BlogWalker

Muddling through the blogosphere

September 26, 2008
by blogwalker
2 Comments

Comic Strip Character for the Digital Age: Boolean Squared

Meet Boolean Squared, who has a lot in common with students in our classrooms in that he “loves computers with a passion, but he rarely uses them in the way that his teacher — Mr. Teach — would like.” And he fully believes that “there is no operating system or Web site that should not be tinkered with.”

Created by my NWP colleague the multi-talented Kevin Hodgson, this web-based comic strip will run every Monday via Masslive.com’s Newspaper in Education and will soon have an RSS feed available. I’ve mentioned Kevin many times in past Blogwalker posts, always about his innovative approaches to 21st century teaching and learning. How fun for Kevin’s 6th grade students, their parents, and the community at large to have this window into the world of digital natives and (or maybe vs.) digital immigrants.

Boolean Squared could make for great Monday morning class discussions too.

May 31, 2008
by blogwalker
8 Comments

Articulating Blog-Reading Habits

NWP colleague Kevin Hodgson is a guiding light in many ways. For several years now, he has sponsored the Youth Radio project, a podcasting project connecting classrooms across the nation and world as students share topics and projects from their own classrooms, neighborhoods, and regions. It’s been my privilege to connect with the YR project locally by joining A3WP colleague Jim Faires and his students as they listen to, respond to, discuss, and even take to a worldwide audience YR topics.

In the blogging workshops I currently teach, I always direct teachers to Kevin’s classroom blog. In every session, there will always be a teacher or two who, after touring the Electric Pencil, has a whole new understanding of how blogging can benefit teachers and their students.

Now I have a new resource to share in my workshops. I’ll be directing workshop teachers to Kevin’s NWP article Bringing the World to My Doorstep: A Teacher’s Blog-Reading Habits article. Often in my workshops, I realize that teachers leave all setup with their own blog (an Edublog), but without an understanding that blogging is all about reading – reading other bloggers’ thoughts, ideas, and challenges – and responding. Kevin’s article makes visible “how the world of blogs enriches his teaching, supports his tech liaison work, provides opportunities for his students, and keeps him connected both to his NWP network and to a wider network of educators.”

His article also explains so well the power of RSS, another topic I rarely get to in a 2-3 hour workshop, but I think by having teachers read Kevin’s article, I’ll have a great starting point for introducing RSS early on in my upcoming day-long and week-long summer workshops. I’ll also be introducing the term social media literacy.

Social media literacy refers to the ways in which bloggers connect and stay informed of each others’ work. One blogger, Chris Heuer , suggests that RSS could be “the fourth “R” in our conception of literacy , noting that RSS-based social media literacy “enables any individual to step into the conversational flow—to not only follow what other people are communicating, but ensure what the individual has to communicate is heard by other people who care about the topic.”

One more time, I want to thank Kevin for his innovative teaching practices, his commitment to bringing others on board with Web 2.0 best practices, and his willingness to mentor 24/7.

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