For me it is a little bit difficult to think about the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics right now… I’m in a car outside of Hanoi, Vietnam heading to Ha Long Bay for an overnight boat cruise. The car ride is about 3.5 hours long and so I thought I’d use this time to plug a great project happening on the other side of the globe.
If, (unlike me), you are at a school that is in session during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, be sure to share this link with your students. Chris Kennedy, Assistant Superintendent of West Vancouver School District, has helped to organize 12 student bloggers to report on events at the Olympics.
These student reporters will be given access to many of the Olympic events & venues and they will be blogging, photographing, vlogging, tweeting, and updating their Facebook group page with all kinds of reports about the Olympics. I think it is fantastic to have students sharing their perspective on the Olympics and that we are starting to give students a legitimate voice in documenting world events. What will make projects like this really meaningful is interaction between these students and students around the world, so I’d like to encourage educators to get students and classrooms to follow these reporters and engage with them online.
Today, before leaving on this trip, I was connected to the hotel lobby wireless, checking email, and saw that Danny from Jan Smith’s grade 6/7 class left a comment on my blog, (Jan told me on Twitter that he did this on his own). I had a few minutes so I commented back on his blog. I mention this here because I think that as we encourage students to blog and connect online it is important for us to not just encourage but also to support these endeavors! One of the key things that makes blogging an effective learning tool is that it gives students a legitimate audience. Danny ends his comment with, “…so thank you for being a blogging teacher from the other side of the world!”
Also, Danny’s classmate Lizzie commented on my daughter’s fledgling blog and asked a question, so I encouraged my daughter to reply and then I helped her go to Lizzie’s blog and comment.
The next time I get online, after posting this, I’ll be visiting Jim Wenzloff‘s wife, Chris’, new class blog, THE CLEM, and commenting on some student posts… And I’ll be mentioning that I’m writing from Hanoi Vietnam & living in Dalian China. I would like to encourage anyone reading this to take the time to comment on some student blogs from across the hall, across the city, across the country, or across the world. If you don’t know of any then visit Chris’ or Jan’s students… Or check out Sue Waters who is an excellent advocate for student bloggers that deserve a global audience.
And finally, I’ll end where I started, recommending that you help connect students around the world with the student reporters at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.