Tuesday, October 23, 2007

There is More Than One Way to Hatch an Idea

We are beginning to have some great discussions on our TEAM blogs about web 2.0 and its value in our classrooms. Of using technology for the sake of technology...
Sometimes, I have wondered about this myself. For example, why blog if no one is going to read it? (If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, did it really fall?). Why twitter? Do we care that someone is sitting an airport, sipping Starbucks? Is twitter our version of Facebook?
Then, I remembered a blog entry by one of my fifth grade students on our class blog at blogmeister. I asked students to write a blog about what they hoped to learn in my Library Research/ICT class this year. This is what one student said:
When I finish research class

When I finish reasearch class,I want to learn how to type faster. I also want to share my ideas with everyone. I would like to see comments that are good about my blog. I even want to learn how to use the computer better. I already know how to use a computer,but I want to know more about it. If I read other people's blogs, I could maybe hatch an idea from that idea.
That is what I want to learn when I leave research class.
That's it! A 10-year-old captured what this is all about for me - ...I could maybe hatch an idea from that idea. Twitter is bringing more readers to my blog. I am starting to pick up tips and ideas from following some of my favorite thinkers. Through RSS, I learn something new everyday.

This is an amazing time for teaching and an amazing time for lifelong learners. See the Information R/Evolution video below from MWesch. Take part in this. Add to it. Take from it. It's free. Hatch an idea.

*Photo from: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/?display=142963&


  1. I am still amazed about the idea of hatching coming from a student. This blog has so much info, it's not even funny!

    I'd say it was a 'slam dunk' nyuck nyuck!

    I love getting ideas from your blog Karen.

  2. Karen, I like the "hatching" metaphor as well. I also think there is intrinsic value in processing ideas via writing and blogging. Comments can be edifying and energizing, but the simple act of WRITING about a lesson or an idea leads the writer to a greater level of ownership of those concepts than they had previously. So I think there are intrinsically valuable reasons for blogging, as well as extrinsic reasons. This is important to share and discuss with students, I think, because they might otherwise just measure the value of their blog by the number of comments. The value of a blog is much more personal, in my view, than anything else. If, through blogging, students think more deeply and more frequently about ideas and are challenged to turn them over within their own minds to a greater extent than they would have otherwise, then I think their creative act of blogging has great value. By inviting learners to blog, we are inviting them to step into the role of content author, creator and publisher, and move beyond the role of a mere passive spectator. This has HUGE implications for media literacy development and critical thinking, as well as their own understanding and retention of ideas. There are lots of reasons why blogging can support powerful and transformative metacognition!