Here are thoughts about why we are striving to do this for and with our students:
- They have an actual audience to write or create for. The writing/work is no longer just for us but the whole world. A student’s work will quickly improve with a real audience. With comments from a real audience providing proper feedback, the student gets a better sense of impact on the audience as well as recognition for accuracy and focus. Of course it is also on the teacher to teach students how to responsibly comment and respond on other’s posts. Our students need to interact and communicate with others - peers, educators, and experts within or outside school - and build the feedback received into their work. It also makes students aware that someone else (other than their teacher) is reading or viewing, and cares
- It opens a dialogue. Students have a direct line to their teacher and to anyone else they are connected with.
- It establishes their Internet identity in safe manner. Students are getting on the Internet earlier and earlier so as teachers and parents it is vital we embrace this opportunity to teach them safety. In the digital age, kids need to have an understanding of what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. They need to learn the technical how-to’s, as well as a more global comprehension of how to navigate the online world.
- They teach each other. That says it all!
- They are global citizens and global collaborators. We speak of creating global citizens but then forget to actually connect kids with kids. Our hope is that this year there will be even more connecting and collaborating within and beyond our school walls.
- Transparency. Let’s share the amazing things we concoct. Sharing and collaborating opens up the door and shows the whole world what is happening. Our students have an opportunity to inspire others.
- We give them a voice. Students need a way to express themselves to take ownership of their learning. Through our work students will tell the world their thoughts on education, their learning and their needs.
- Critical Thinking Publishing our work opens doors and increases the concept of being a critical reader. Students will examine their own work more critically before publishing it, knowing that they have a larger audience.