An important motivator for getting your students blogging with Kidblog is the chance for their publishing to draw the attention of an international audience. Routinely, Kidbloggers are fielding comments from different corners of the world like Taiwan, Europe, South America, and New Zealand. Students might be too young to appreciate just how remarkable that is, but it’s still a valuable lesson in the “flattening” of our world.
The lesson becomes even more valuable when the classes can work together on a shared project. Luckily, a few teachers have already thought of ways to bring classes together in meaningful ways.
Global Read Aloud
The first is the Global Read Aloud, the brainchild of a past guest blogger here at Kidblog, Pernille Ripp, a fifth grade teacher from Middleton, Wisconsin. The premise is simple. A book is chosen and read by all the classes signed up to the site. The classes then connect through various technologies, including Kidblog, to share their opinions on the book and perhaps plan future collaborations together.
QuadBlogging is a little more free-form. Classes sign up at the site and are organized into “Quads” with three other classes. In a four-week cycle, each class is the “focus class” and the other three make it a point to visit their blog and comment as much as possible. There is no prearranged topic or task, but one can be determined with the other members of your Quad. With the site itself based in the UK, a quick scan of the current list also shows classes from the US, Eastern Europe, Asia, and more.
Beverly Ladd’s class just had a Skype chat through #MysterySkype with a partner class in the UK. One of her students, Elisa, blogged about it on Kidblog. By her account, they had a little trouble locating the class on their map.
An international community has been building up for over five years at Twitter. A search for “Kidblog” finds a rapidly updating timeline of teachers sharing projects or seeking new international partners for their Kidblog classes. Perhaps a more efficient way of finding partners for your class is to use the hashtag #comments4kids, where teachers solicit other classes to come check out their Kidblog and leave some comments.
Connecting with others deepens relationships and broadens understanding – academically and culturally. We hope Kidblog helps you extend the reach of your classroom.