National Writing Project

Blogging in the Classroom

Publication: WFCR
Date: February 15, 2006

Summary: The Making Connections Project of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project brought teachers together to co-design a writing curriculum using weblog technology. This curriculum was based on the idea of developing a writing community among students from urban and rural districts in Western Massachusetts.

 

Excerpt from Story

About a year ago, sixth grade teacher Kevin Hodgson started using a weblog to teach writing in all four of his classes. This meant different groups of kids could communicate with each other via the web. Hodgson is the tech liaison for the Western Massachusetts Writing Project. He says weaving technology into his English curriculum gives kids a chance to see each other's work.

"So the weblog found this way of breaking down some of the walls between classrooms."

Hodgson soon realized weblogs could also be used to break down barriers between students in different towns and schools. Through his work with the National Writing Project, Hodgson and a group of about 20 teachers around Massachusetts designed a curriculum unit called Making Connections. During the program, kids learn about writing. Hodgson says the teachers had long discussions about how to make sure the kids would learn more than just about the technology.

"But also to show them how this technology can be used to create this idea of a writing community. And I think what we found and what we knew as teachers of this age group is that socially, they love the idea of connecting with others, and they love that idea of socializing. And so the challenge for teachers has been to use that energy in an educational way."

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