As time has passed, I have reflected on my students' use of weblogs during fall semester 2003. The students have moved on to their student teaching experiences and will graduate in May 2004-just weeks away. As I think of these pre-service teachers who will be in-service teachers very soon, I am excited that the students had the opportunity to learn about and use weblogs with Anne Davis. To quote Anne, "It's all about possibilities." The students learned that thinking of teaching and learning in new ways will open up possibilities in ways we cannot anticipate. Opening my students' minds to new possibilities has been the number one benefit of the Newbery weblogs project. Although there were glitches along the way, students realized that problem-solving is a necessary skill in teaching and were able to think through other ways to use weblogs in their classrooms. The suggestions given at the end of the semester have helped me learn and grow as a teacher. I will definately use weblogs again in teaching, but will take new knowledge with me about what works best.
Four of my students from fall semester are now completing their student teaching requirements in The Netherlands, England, and Sweden. When I read their journals, I see how open they are to the possibilities of teaching and learning. I know their experiences with weblogs enhanced their ability to see those possibilities.
The highlight of the entire project was the field trip to J. H. House Elementary on November 3, 2003. My students were able to see many, many examples of the use of technology as a tool for teaching and learning. We observed current events, music, art, language arts, and many more areas of instruction. My students were interviewed by a group of students taught by Anne Davis. These fifth graders using weblogs were able to talk with my students about their work. Isn't that what it's all about?