Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wanted--Positive Web 2.0 Experiences

My 5th grade classes are just finishing an exciting project extending their learning in humanities class about North American native cultures during colonial times. After posting a Pivot Stick Figure Animator animation depicting an activity from a tribe's daily life and writing an explanation of the activity on our class forum in Moodle the students have been commenting on each others' projects. Aside from the obvious hard work and thought that has gone into the projects, the students' comments on each others' work have been remarkably and almost all positive and supportive. This took me by surprise because as a grade these students have just been through the ringer for a lot of negative social behavior they've been engaging in with Club Penguin accounts, text messaging and email, and they are only 9 years old! Although we didn't intend to create a positive social experience using technology and we didn't encourage them to be positive at all in their feedback they've readily taken up this opportunity to use technology for positive social ends. As one student said in her project writeup, "This tribe reminds me of (our school) because on the weekends we are away from each other, but when we come together we’re just like the Chickasaw tribe one tight community." Now, isn't that sweet?

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