In the video, "We Like Our Blogging Buddies: The Write Stuff with Blogging Mentors, " a university professional teaching professor and a first grade teacher paired up to answer their research question... can first graders improve their techincal understanding of writing and how to write for an audience if they blogged with college students. The answer was an overwhleming YES!
The first graders learned correct punctuation, spelling, capitalization, spacing, and how to sound out words when they posted a blog and a college student responded. The grade school children, according to their teacher, were so excited about the project and were motivated to write well because they had an audience, they knew someone, besides their teacher, would read their post and leave a comment.
One of the significant findings of the research is there is a positive correlation between attitude and achievement with the young students. Because the students had a positive attitude toward blogging, the quality of their writing improved.
This reminds me of a humanities class I took at Oklahoma City Community College a few years ago. It was an online class, so part of our weekly assignments were to, essentially, write a blog about that weeks' reading assignment. Other students and the teacher left comments and sometimes really long discussions on fine art and what kind of dome Brunaschelli used in the Florence Duomo ensued. It was a lot of fun!
The project discussed in the video inspires me to use a similar format in my high school history class. I think it would be beneficial to the students to make use of this technology most teenagers seem to know already...blogging. I could put chapter summaries online, and students could leave comments and/or questions of which some I could answer online and some that maybe require more depth we could discuss in class. That may save classroom time for other things. I don't know...just thoughts.