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"Participation Engenders Competence"

October 28, 2005

For an inspiring description of the impact of students writing on blogs, see Konrad Glogowski’s post in his Blog of Proximal Development.

He says –

When I think of blogs, I think primarily of what this technology enables my students to accomplish. When I look forward to reading their entries and comments I am really looking forward to thoughts made visible.

And so, when they write, I don’t want the journey to end with me as it inevitably does when the teacher is the audience. I want to be part of the collective journey. I want to lurk and see how my students develop their ideas. I want to see how conversations grow. I want to hear their voices booming through their entries. You can’t have that when you’re busy correcting spelling and fixing sentence structure.

My approach to marking has become more holistic. I’ve discovered that students who participate in communities of learners begin to care about their writerly voice. Gradually, what emerges is greater awareness of how to make that voice heard and how to effectively communicate one’s ideas. The most valuable part of this community is that this awareness emerges as a result of online interactions, of hundreds of entries, comments, and connections made online as part of a collective journey. It comes from within because the students need it to emerge. It is a practical skill that they need to keep contributing as members of the community. It is not imposed by my rubrics.

Check out the whole post.


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