Daily Archives: March 5, 2008


I've finally done it this year.

Got my class started with blogs and blogging, that is. While it's early stages and they are still playing with the technology, I want to get them focussed on the connective capabilities and possibilities that this tool has before it becomes a novelty for digital writing.

Enter Al Upton and his mini-Legends. Al came with the Mentor A Mini idea to give his students interaction from adults from beyond his school to help guide them and give them feedback. Al wrote:

If you’re an educational blogger of any kind (or visitor) and would like to ‘mentor a mini’ then
please leave a comment on THIS page
saying who you would like to be connected with.
The idea is to drop into their blogs from time to time throughout the year and leave a positive comment .
Very simple … why not join in the fun?

Of course everyone can comment on anyone’s post or page.

What a great idea! So great I am appropriating and re-badging the idea for my own class. I'm changing tact slightly and calling for Blog Coaches (to appeal to a slightly older age group) to be connected to an LA20 blogger for 2008. I want the students to connect to other learners beyond their immediate surroundings and be a reflective commenter on their learning and posts throughout the year.

What will a Blog Coach do?

  • Visit our class blog to see who's in LA20.
  • Email me (learningarea20[at]gmail.com) and request involvement, picking a name or leaving it to my discretion.
  • Write an introductory post to the student that they will publish on their blog. Include a link to your own learning blog, show where in the world you are and why you think reaching beyond the classroom is a good idea.
  • Once notified, (by your protege) be prepared to put their blog in your aggregator and add comments in from time to time, tracking this one learner throughout 2008.
  • Point your protege towards other useful resources and learners when and if the opportunity arises - for example, when my students start their Personal Research Projects and start looking to answer their questions.
  • This could lead to other connections / ideas - you can help guide my learners as an extra Coach on the sideline, cheering your one young blogger on.

Sounds good - let me know if you think this is for you. I know it is a bit selfish on my part - but they definitely need to see past me as the driver of this initiative and connect with trusted others. My network is the best place to find that - you don't have to be a  K-12 teacher, you could be in VTE or a university or an instructional designer - as long as learning is at the heart of what you do. Like a coach, I'm looking for help in inspiring these kids. I don't want to, nor should I, do it on my own.

Are you in?

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to present to my biggest crowd yet - over 100 early childhood educators at the Term 1 EChO half day conference. It was a focus on technology and I was the closing act after Trudy Sweeney's opening keynote about Web 2.0. All went pretty well until slide 35... where my choice of Flickr image provoked a response from the assembled .... well, you can work it out from the audio. Let's just say that the image lost its innocence.

Anyway, here's the presentation in Slidecast format.

[slideshare id=291755&doc=echo-08-presentation-1204627497212177-4&w=425]

Here are my links from the presentation as well. I didn't get as much time as I wanted to showcase the Web 2.0 early childhood educators - Kathy Cassidy, Rachel Boyd and Maria Knee (who contacted me after seeing my twitter plea). I wish that I had left more time to contact these amazing teachers and inform them of my reference to their work - but adding their links here will be a small piece of acknowledgement.









Kathy Cassidy –


Rachel Boyd –



Maria Knee –