Kudos to Mark Ahlness, David Warlick and others who were quoted several times in Saturday’s Seattle Times’ article “Teachers are reaching out to students with a new class of blogs.” This is the sort of article about web 2.0 and classroom blogs that we need to see more of in the mainstream press. The messages are ones we hear often in the edu-blogosphere, but not often in our local paper.

Blogs are powerful motivators to improve student writing skills:

“Never in 25 years of teaching have I seen a more powerful motivator for writing than blogs,” Ahlness said. “And that’s because of the audience. Writing is not just taped on the refrigerator and then put in the recycle bin. It’s out there for the world to see. Kids realize other people are reading what they write.”

Kids get excited when they are invited to blog at school in a safe environment:

Marilyn Mears, mom of a student from Ahlness’ class last year, checked her son’s blog and many of his classmates’ sites once a week and encouraged his relatives to visit it. “Writing wasn’t a favorite subject, but his excitement about the classroom blogs grew throughout the year,” Mears noted. “Receiving comments from around the world [New Zealand and Scotland] was energizing.”

Consider emailing or calling the author of this piece (Stephanie Dunnewind: sdunnewind [at] seattletimes [dot] com or 206-464-2091) and thanking her for providing some much-needed balance in the mainstream press reporting on web 2.0!

Via Will Richardson’s del.icio.us links.


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