Wednesday, March 09, 2005

What I've learned from Blogging so far...

This blog has been in existence just under a week and I’m still trying to figure out its implications. I agree with Hugh Hewitt’s analysis in his book Blog, about the ability of this medium to change the way opinions get formed. There will still be gatekeepers and opinion makers; the difference is that anyone can get involved in this process. Media Companies are in a state of transition and the networks of power that are dependent on TV, newspapers, and broadcast journalism are losing their ability to completely control content. What is happening on the web reminds me a lot of the rise of pamphleteers during the 1760’s in the American Colonies. Ben Franklin produced a blog called Poor Richard’s Almanac along with hundreds of letters and papers in the quest to help the colonies maintain their traditional rights as British subjects. He had quite an impact on the debates of the 18th century.

What is the role of a blog for a school or an educational movement? Clearly you can showcase student writing, artwork and even computer modeling. It can act as a marketing piece, but maybe it can do something more…There are a lot of things that we do at the Vermont Commons School that need to be communicated to the outside world. We have lots of resources to offer the global and local community. Meaningful articles from students on the 21st Century democratic theory, computer models on the impact of alcohol on human behavior, plans on how to restore an polluted stream, poems and essays. It can also be a place to exchange ideas or even network. It all depends on content.

A 21st Century education is going to be imbedded in learning basic skills like reading, writing, math and modeling while actively trying to solve problems of both our local and global communities. Blogs are not going to solve problems. Content will remain as important as ever, but now I can communicate directly with people who are interested in seeing what we are doing. We can be a resource to people worldwide. That is an exciting world to be a part of.

Next question for tomorrow: How do I attract the eyeballs?


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