This week has felt very full – full of new ideas, full of interaction, and full of energy.
I was happy to help some of my peers with kidblogs. I have found kidblogs to be a very motivating venue to publish student writing – even for reluctant writers. Students like knowing there is a real audience for their writing. The interactivity of comment also seems to be motivating for students to complete work and to do their best work.
Conversing with my peers via their blogs gives me such a sense of energy. All the ideas that people are pursuing are incredibly diverse. In some cases (Colin), I can only cheer my peers on as their topics are way outside the spectrum of my knowledge. Other ideas, like looking at student motivation in a dual language program, I am eager to follow and see what materializes. The findings should be applicable to my students.
As I’ve been reading blogs the past couple days, a common sentiment keeps surfacing as a theme for a shift change in the new Alaska language arts standards. “The draw for so much fiction is that it is more interesting than non-fiction.” I have many students who are drawn to non-fiction reading. I would venture to guess that it is teachers who are drawn to teaching fiction and encouraging reading fiction materials. As soon as teachers become comfortable in teaching and engaging students in non-fiction materials, I bet we will see a fluid move toward those materials with little resistance from our students.
This sentiment is one of the drivers of my research question. As the standards have shifted to a deeper look instead of a broader look at content, and are now including technology, I think if teachers have resources easily available to them, teachers will be more inclined to teach using elements, like non-fiction, and therefore make it more appealing to students.
I really enjoy helping others with technology. I hope the outcome of this research project will be a usable product that teachers can use and interact with in order to improve the product. After communicating my honed research question on twitter and my blog, I received much support and helpful feedback. Most importantly, I gained a partner to help me with this project. Tracie was as excited as I am… and has sights on making this project useful enough to warrant presenting at ASTE this winter!