great cyber-bullying video

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

Just last month i was wandering through the blogosphere reading some music blogs that interest me.  I was astounded by the comments that people were making, they were so severe.  Protected by anonymity it seems people aren’t really nice to each other.  I was disturbed by the fact that kys was an abbreviation that was thrown around like it was nothing.  Oh, you didn’t know either – kill yourself.  Disturbing.  In the same week my senior students reflected on this tragic article, to summarize their responses in a word:  harsh.

The importance of this new writing vehicle that we are a part of can not be understated and the direct instruction and consideration of commenting is something i believe has a place within the modern classroom.  A friend sent me this video this morning, which i found astoundingly powerful and will use to launch a lesson very soon:

http://www.youtube.com/oceanking97

Student Blog prompts:
What do you consider to be cyber bullying?  Can you share a time where you felt as though you were bullied online?  Can you think of an instance where perhaps your actions could have been considered bullying?  How did these experiences make you feel?  why?  What should you do if you feel that you are being bullied?

Blog, Schmlog: Using Blogs to Enhance Writing, Reflection, and Assessment Across the Curriculum

“I really struggle with that feeling of helplessness. That’s why I really try to get my blogs, and even myself, to point to the positive and look at all the inspiring things that are happening.”
– Daryl Hannah

Two years ago I submitted a proposal to do a presentation on blogging in education.  That proposal was selected a year after it was submitted and tomorrow i am off to Costa Rica to present at this year’s Tri-Association converence.  The topic:  how blogging can be used to improve writing, reflection, assessment, and the learning that goes on in our classes.

The presentation is considerably different than what was originally proposed – but lets face it the world of blogging has changed a great deal in two years!  I will be giving the presentation twice and the candidates and duration of the session will be very different; thus i needed some basics that i could adapt to the audience in front of me.
I have re-presented some of the information from support blogging, and from the writings found on or linked from my blogroll in a slide show and will work individually to meet the needs of the participants.

Here is the presentation to date (although it will likely change greatly before it is presented on Thursday morning):

Of course comments and feedback are always appreciated if you have a minute.

4th Grade Bloggers

“Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.”

Aristotle

Today one of our fourth grade classes entered into the Blogosphere.  The teacher was a little hesitant but i am extremely proud of her bravery.  Luckily she is supported not just by her technology facilitators and me but also by a great group of teachers from all over the world – her classes BlogPals.  This is something that Kim Cofino invited us to from Thailand; we had one teacher leap onboard initially but I am sure we will have many more classes involved in projects like this as this takes off.  Kim’s blog is full of resources on blogging at the elementary level and this post is a great starting point for anyone helping a new elementary class to enter the world of blogging.

Blogging has been at the forefront of my mind recently as i finalize a presentation that i will be giving in San Jose, Costa Rica next week.  In reflection, I proposed the project to the Tri-Association more than two years ago now and the difference in the world of educational blogging between then and now is nothing short of phenomenal.  I don’t know what i would have said two years ago but it sure would have been a great deal different then what i will be saying next week (more on that a little later).

What do Alaskans, Thais and Dominicans have in common?

Friends have all things in common.
– Plato
What do Dominican 4th grade students have in common with 4th grade students in Kodiak, Alaska?
It isn’t a joke, its a question and good one too.  We will be investigating this throughout the year as we add friends in Kodiak to our blogpals.
From Bangkok to Kodiak and back to Santo Domingo the opportunities that blogging makes available to our students are truly endless.  Our four fourth grade teachers are lucky to be teamed up with BlogSuperStar Kim Cofino and some fantastic new teachers in Alaska – all of us are pushing our comfort zones and growing because of it!
– more on this next week- after some soul cleansing (read:kitesurfing) this weekend