Blogging – Empowering Students Through Voice

I’ve been talking a lot about creating “communities of practice” where students see themselves as writers and that their voice matters.  It is not by accident that this happens. Rather, conscientious design create the conditions for freedom of ideas to flow in a risk-taking environment.  Support and scaffolding occurs at each step merging both online and face-to-face experiences.

Jude Comeau’s class has been working on writing and voice  via their blog.  This post by one of the students reveal the amazing things that can happen when students are engaged in writing that matters.  This student reached out to her community with an idea/plan that is part of her passion.  And her community responded.  What a memorable experience to have.

A student cultivated idea takes flight.

Another student in the class is finishing her year in another country.  The blog became the portal that the student and her family continued their relationship and extended learning.  Her friends are able to capture a glimmer of a world across the ocean through her lens and conversations are maintained.  In fact, she decided that she was going to complete the same research project as her classmates.  The world has indeed become ‘flat’ as suggested by Thomas Friedman.

Student writes from across the ocean.

I wonder how these students feel about their voice, their ideas, their writing now that they’ve had these experiences of connectedness.  I also wonder about your thoughts on this.  Please feel free to share by commenting.

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2 thoughts on “Blogging – Empowering Students Through Voice

  1. When we first found out we would be spending the last 2 months of the school year in the UK, my first concern was of the children and the impact it would have on them. My kids were excited, but also a little wistful of what they would be missing. Of course it wasn’t the school work they were concerned about 🙂 but more so the everyday social interactions that makes them look forward to each new day. My daughter ( who is in Jude Comeau’s grade 3 class) was beside herself worrying about what she would miss out on. From walking in on the first day of a new classroom theme, to being part of the Mother’s Day tea, my daughter felt like she would be shafted by not getting the full Mrs. Comeau experience!

    This has not been the case at all. Technology has played a huge roll in both the children’s education abroad. The classroom blog has enabled my daughter to not only feel like she is still part of the class, but also feel proud to share with her classmates all her new and exciting adventures. She lights up when someone new comments on her post and says she’s glad the class has not forgotten her. She has gone from a girl who always lacked confidence in her abilities, and always second guessed her thoughts and ideas to a child brimming with ideas and eager to share.

    We have weekly spelling words emailed to us, and she’s caught up on allI the classroom chatter thanks to her trusty pals and Face Time!

    We are truly greatful that the classroom blog has been a part of our journey, and that the gift of technology has enabled us to have a learning experience like no other. Having said that, I would like to end with a quote that I came across some time ago. It made me reflect on what both of our children took away from Mrs. Comeau’s class:

    “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” – Bill Gates

    I truly believe this to be true.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I completely agree. It is the teacher who expertly crafts every opportunity to support each child in lifting them to experience beyond what might appear impossible. And Mrs Comeau is a master at modeling the possible. Emerging technologies may provide the portal for conversations and relationships. It is people like Mrs Comeau and yourselves who use it to create.
    Safe travels to you and your family.
    ~Janet

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