Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Poetry Slam and An Unexpected Axis Experience

This year, our seventh grade English students will be participating in an online poetry project from the Literacy Workshop. Steve Bergen, the CIO and Computer Teacher at The Children's Storefront in Harlem, New York, posted to the ISED list serv about this project. He has already had his class "meet" other poets online and they've shared their work with one another. So, our English teachers Charlotte Stice and Andy Puente have agreed to take part. We've just received notices about how to set up our class blogs and are looking forward to reading poetry by other students. We'll also have a class conversation or two with Steve's classes.

When I first began chatting with Steve, he was quite insistent that we chat via phone before any Skyping or Im'ing. I admit, at first, I was perplexed. I've chatted with quite a few people online before actually speaking to them realtime and I wasn't quite sure why he wanted to approach our conversation in this manner. It seemed kind of old-fashioned, frankly. During that talk, however, he explained that the connections you make when you share an actual conversation are different than those you have with someone you have no real-world connection with. Well, duh, why didn't I make that connection myself? I've spent hours reading and learning about how online communications are distinctly different from those that occur both online and offline. So, thanks to Steve, I put two and two together. I, in fact, melded that educational axis for which this blog is named. Thanks for that, Steve.

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