Friday, December 28, 2007

Connect Safely

When teenagers and adults are taught to drive, they are educated in the safest way to drive. Fire safety, safety with fire arms, staying safe in a public place, are all very excepted as something which should be taught. Because knowledge is power. I have read the safety tips and surfed through the forums at, and was impressed with the subject matter. I really believe along with the parents and faculty team of the school being educated in matters of safety, the students need to know ways in which to interact in the read/write web safely. This site can really be a valuable educational tool. There are other measures which can be taken such as using more secure sites such as or for safer onlinee interaction. This is good, but even if you have training wheels on your bike; you best learn to ride without them. The students will meet other friends with pages on myspace who will invite them to read and comment on their blog, which they won't be able to do without an account at myspace. Though these secure sites are wonderful ideas. It is still best to teach and learn to interact safely on today's Read/Write web.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Classroom Audio Podcasting

I'd like to reflect on this article by Wes Fryer. The links he gives are great. I personally would not have guessed how inexpensive podcasting is to set up in the classroom. Basically just the expense of a microphone to add to your computer set-up. He gives links to free software out there.

Wes Fryer mentions what a motivator podcasting can be for children to write, since they can become podcasting storytellers, and the thrill to present their own stories in that format will inspire them to compose.

I agree with this and also believe that it would be an excellent tool for their reading skills too. It may help students to learn to subvocalize while they read silently. To hear their own voice in their head as they read is an important step for reading fluency and comprehension. I think it is great that they could hear themselves reading after practising reading a story or passage fluently, to hear it in a performeed podcast should not only promote their print processing skills, but also their silent reading. I would think podcasts would be an excellent tool for any reading teacher. Often, you need your students to repeat a passage orally until it is fluent, what a wonderful motivator for that!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Veni; Vidi; Wiki!

Okay, I guess I cannot get away using "wiki" as a verb! Wikis are wonderful, though. So many times I've looked up something on Google just to end up being referred to it on "wikipedia." I didn't realize wiki really means quick in Hawaiian. Wikis are amazingly quick ways to collaborate on a written work with lots of people and a fast way to look something up.

While checking out the wiki sites put up like: WikiHow and Wikiville, I couldn't help but to look for topics which may be offensive in content. It is impressive how well composed they are. I've added these two to my blogroll which you can click on below and see for yourself. Here is what is currently posted on the home page of Wikiville:

"WikiVille is closing down shortly to further edits and contributions. From my own perspective I'd like to say thankyou for all of your input and support. I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't but most of all it's been made really clear that Wiki's can be left in the safe hands of young people without much cause for concern at all. The biggest pain has actually been spammers and spambots!


Thanks again & here's to the future!


It is sad that there are vandals out there, but it seems for the most part that these students have very responsibly made contributions to the Read/Write Web in which they can be proud of.

It has added a whole new way to collaberate on a written work. I've worked on group projects in some of my classes towards my masters. The hardest part was just finding a time in which to meet and go over all of the sections each one of us was working on and make it cohesive. A Wiki would have been a great platform to use for such a project, having other's words right in front of you and adding, and editing together.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Surfing to Weaving

Miguel Guhlin's article,"Storing Bookmarks Online,"
got me thinking just how true the name "web" really is now. At first it was just surfing the web. Maybe then the web could have been called "the waves" or "the tides." Now that everyone can contribute and link to other's works so easily; it really is a very intricate web not unlike a spider whose spinnerets can throw out silk to connect one piece to another. The Read/Write web is a true web and we are the weavers. In the words of Willy Wonka: "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."

With the Read/Write web thoughts and dreams are easily interconnected.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Discovering blogging

For me this has really been great fun learning about blogging, and now my own blog. Watch out. The first time I heard someone say the word "blog." I really had to laugh. It sounded like maybe a word that might have been from Lewis Carroll's "the Jabberwocky." In my head, I could imagine some slithy toves going: "Blog, blog, blog."

It made a little more sense knowing the word "blog" was what would happen if you said web log twenty times and fast. I really had no idea how easy they are to create and what wonderful canvases they are for written thought. A blog can be added to and linked and commented upon continuously. As a reading teacher, it excites me to see any idea which will motivate students in written form.

The weather where I live has been radical this week. It snowed monday. My children and I had a snowball fight. I think that is our first one of the fall. To share our fun with you. I've included a link to a virtual snowball.
(Don't say I didn't warn you}!

Please feel free to write how blogging has changed your perspective of writing and/or links to interesting blogs you have come across!