I have been traveling about on the many and diverse blogs of the participants of this course. Cristina wrote a thoughtful post about The role of people’s enthusiasm in learning. She wonders, “Where does the motivation come from? Where do we get our inspiration from? Why do some of us get “high on” learning? why doesn’t everyone react the same way?… I’ve wondered the same things. Then she shared her thoughts on an online meeting with Carla Arena’s new class on the use of blogs. The consensus seemed to be that the community and the networks you are able to cultivate around a class are what makes blogging special. All of this is near and dear to my heart. I have been blogging with students since 2002, mostly elementary kids. I once wrote my rationale for educational blogging and thought I’d share. Also, some lessons learned.

Elementary students are extremely motivated to blog. They feel empowered – they get to have choices, their voices develop, and a community of learning develops that gets to go outside the classroom and connect with and learn from others. That outside connecting audience makes a difference. It is exciting. It is motivating. My first year of blogging brought this reflection from Dane, one of my students. When asked

“If an outsider visited your site, what would you hope he or she would think about it?

I would hope they would think of children as being capable of more than they had first anticipated.

That did it for me. I’ve been blogging with elementary students ever since. I think their voices need to be heard and we adults need to learn how to listen to those voices.

I really love the banner on Cristina’s blog. The young girl skipping down the path really depicts the joy of a learning journey. I feel like I am on board!