Here and now

 I usually resist setting up lines in the sand for our
teachers to have to cross, thinking that a gentle tug or suggestion
will work better.
But I've been pondering this all day, this reluctance to say–yes, all this matters. I just finished reading Will Richardson's post about Writing to Connect.
He's right. It is the sharing of ideas, the learning from one another,
that makes blogging powerful. Other teachers aside, my own learning now
comes from my sharing with colleagues and friends in my network.
When we ask our students to blog, we are asking them to publish in
order to get a response, to be heard. Creating for the sake of creating
or publishing for the sake of publishing is worthless without the
audience and response. Will's comment about the teaching of writing, in
particular, hit home: "I
want a conversation, and that changes the way I write. And it changes
the way we think about teaching writing. This is not simply about
publishing, about taking what we did on paper and throwing it up on a
blog and patting ourselves on the back."

My students were working on their persuasive essays today, an
assignment that asked them to answer the question: What Matters to You?
Listening to them discuss and debate their ideas this week made me
realize that they do want to change minds. They are not writing for me,
they are writing to be heard. And that's what is making the assignment
more meaningful to most of them. So I need to get their writing on the
blogs to give them an audience and an opportunity to share and learn
from each other.
And the teaching and learning doesn't have to come only in the classroom. Jim Groom,
a professor/instructional tech guru from the University of Mary
Washington, wrote on his blog this morning: "I’m beginning to realize
more and more that you teach from where you are, and I’m deep in the
blog right now
. "
Perhaps it is time to draw a line in the sand.