Steve Dembo is a director of technology at a school in Chicago. I found his site after he had made a nice comment on my other weblog. Now, I feel sure that he won't mind if I quote one of his posts because it is all about you and J.H. House. He is fascinated by what you have to say and wants to communicate with you. Wow! Someone in Chicago has noticed you, boys and girls! Isn't it exciting? Here is what he has to say:
"I believe I've met Anne Davis before. I think we met at NECC last year or the year before. I just discovered her blog today, and I think it's a fantastic example of how blogging can be integrated into a school community.
She started off with the school's principal, Joyce Hooper. Joyce has a blog called Principal's Quest. Her goal was to blog at least once a week, but admitted that she thought it might be a challenge to. So far, she's managed to keep it up. I love the fact that students have been commenting on her entries. It really provides s unique environment for the students and principal to bond together.
A few days ago, Anne launched blogs for an entire fifth grade class. She used this webquest to introduce blogging to the children. Now each student has their own blog. It's theirs, to type up entries for school purposes, but several are also using it as an online journal. Obviously there are concerns about abuse, but the students understand that the blog is a privilege. Most of the students have about 4 or 5 entries in their weblog already.
This very afternoon, Anne did an inservice for four third grade teachers. She taught them all about blogging and got them each started with their own blog. Of course, each site only has a single post, but I think we can forgive them. After all, the sites are less than 12 hours old.
These blogs are nothing fancy. There aren't any incredible themes or pretty pictures. There isn't any content in particular that I think will make the front page of the New York Times. And yet, I've read through nearly every post on Anne's site, the Principals, the four third grade teachers and all fourteen students. I also remember how excited I was when I first found that someone had commented on my site, so I plan to provide some comments on the students' sites.
And that's one of the incredible things about blogs. These students in Georgia have been blogging for a few days. And here I am in Chicago, with no connection to them, their school or their community, and yet I'm fascinated by what they have to say and want to communicate with them.
Dominic Ouellet-Tremblay says it pretty well in an article on Educause.
....Blogs give us a chance to communicate between us and motivate us to write more. When we publish on our blog, people from the entire world can respond by using the comments link. This way, they can ask questions or simply tell us what they like. We can then know if people like what we write and this indicate[s to] us what to do better. By reading these comments, we can know our weaknesses and our talents. Blogging is an opportunity to exchange our point of view with the rest of the world not just people in our immediate environment.
Did I mention that Dominic is a fifth grader? He goes to school at Institut St. Joseph. If you can read French, I think you can find his blog somewhere on this site."
How about that? We'll talk more about this in the morning, but that's the power of weblogs! Get ready to collaborate, comment, read, think, write, proofread, and blog! It's going to be a great session with all of you! I can't wait!