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?
» Blog Coaches For LA20 Learning Area 20
I’ll be first on the bus. I want to get something like this going here at IST, so having a model would be great!
That would be great, Mike. But you’re not the first! I have four other high quality educators like yourself offering their services – via my email contact. If you send an email there, I will be able to contact you easily when we have enough coaches to get this idea on the road. But you may well be the only one from continental Africa – and this may help get your blogging karma up!
I’m trying to track down your email address. I’m new to the edublog world, but would be happy to help you. I just started following you on Twitter. Take a look at my blog and drop me an email if you’d like.
Great idea! I am interested in being a coach. I will email you.
Graham, what a wonderful idea. This is a good example of connecting, or mentoring, of setting an example… such an easy, simple idea that could have such deep consequences.
OK, I’m in.
Count me in too! Will leave the connecting to a particular student to your discretion. Excellent “take it up a level” on the mentor theme Graham!
Graham, I am happy to do this for you and your class. I will email you.
Thank you all for volunteering – look out for an email. When I have all coaches in place, I’ll contact you with suggested starting ideas. I’m sure that my students will prefer you guys to me anyday!
Graham I am happy to help if you need more coaches. Just try not to give me a port supporter OK?
Graham I am happy to help as a blog coach, I just sent an email. Looking forward to working with you students.
I’d be happy to help but am a novice blogger with blogs at helcat.org and http://www.guide2digitallearning.com/blog_elizabeth_helfant/framework_learning..I really like the Blog Coaching Strategy you have. It will be fun to watch your students become bloggers!
I’m a novice blogger (not so new but…:-) )
I’ll happy to help commenting 🙂
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