Mrs. Owens, one of our digital interns, is just beginning her use of technology in the classroom as she moves into her internship. One of the first tools she’s used in her Grade 8 classroom is a wikispaces wiki.
Mrs. Owens’ first assignment was based around the phrase “what I know is …”, a fairly simple assignment where these Grade 8 students were asked to share their experiences. Expectations were a bit low for the assignment, but the resulting writing blew us all away, both in the amount and depth of the writing.
Here’s one particular passage of note:
What I know is that life is rough. I am only fourteen, but have already overcome a lot of things that most fourteen year olds have yet to experience. Like having my mother pass. Like being forced out of my own home. I am officially alone. The fact of having life thrown at me in one shot at a time. The fact that I am alone I am happy I can’t tell you why. I can’t honestly say the reason of who or what I have in this world. But make sure to make up for your mistakes and life will be allot easier on you. I can not tell you the reason god is being so hard on me but if the people I lost were meant to pass than that is what he wanted that was his plan. Well all I know is that like takes it’s toll and times it can be hard and you and you wont understand but if you live for the moment your life will never end. The experiences i have been through are some no teenager should ever go through this is why I say life can be as hard a a rock or easier than anything before. That is why I say life is what you make it so make it better than ever before. Sure I have not been through everything that is going to happin to me but I sure have been through allot some hard some even worse but no matter what happens to me. I will always be myself.
Perhaps what’s most remarkable, but certainly not surprising, is that (as reported by Mrs. Owens) the students really gained interest and became motivated when they were told that their writing would be shared by a world-wide audience.
I don’t believe this will be surprising to any one reading this either. However, here’s another story to share for those that have not yet come to see this for themselves.
My first thought is that these students should be connecting with others. The quality of the writing is such that a blog would allow conversation to take place. Would have love to comment…suppose I could use the discussion feature.
Good stuff came from a good question and focus. This would be a great class to team up with Clarence Fisher or Konrad Glogowski. There’s some momentum here you don’t want to lose.
The students message reminds me of this last lecture by Randy Pausch http://www.etc.cmu.edu/global_news/?q=node/42
Both are people who are facing a day with the question what can I make of this? I somehow feel a lot of people are starting to think about this kind of perspective both as individuals and as communities.
Too much of the broadcast dialogue is defining futures through fear rather than aspirations. Bravo folks for your contribution to constructive power of distributed voice.
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