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QuadBlogging Connects Student Writers with Global Audiences

QuadBlogging Connects Student Writers with Global Audiences
A blog without an audience is like...a library without books, a car without an engine, Beyonce without a ring. Those were some of the responses David Mitchell (@DeputyMitchell) got when he asked his Twitter followers to fill in the blank. "We all understand the importance of audience," says Mitchell, an educator from the United Kingdom and vocal proponent of using blogs to engage student writers. His latest strategy to connect students with readers around the world is the online phenomenon known as QuadBlogging. The idea is deceptively simple. Mitchell hatched the idea almost by chance with three other schools in the UK. Measurable Benefits Mitchell, deputy headmaster at Heathfield Community Primary School in Bolton, England, isn't exaggerating when he says blogging leads to better writing. Along with measurable results, Mitchell has gathered plenty of anecdotal evidence. Global Replication Follow Gwaltney's QuadBloggers in the coming weeks on The Age of Exploration Blog .

What is QuadBlogging? About ETR Community EdTechReview (ETR) is a community of and for everyone involved in education technology to connect and collaborate both online and offline to discover, learn, utilize and share about the best ways technology can improve learning, teaching, and leading in the 21st century. EdTechReview spreads awareness on education technology and its role in 21st century education through best research and practices of using technology in education, and by facilitating events, training, professional development, and consultation in its adoption and implementation.

Keeping Communication Open Year-Round As teachers, we are always looking for new, motivating ways to get our students to read, not only during the course of the school year, but during the summer when sun is high, the pools are open, and the kids are presented with the extra time in which they have to just lay around, play video games, and do a whole lot of “nothing.” That is how we created an engaging, creative way that goes beyond the teachers', tutors' and parents' summer reading "requirements," and the tireless read-a-thon programs that certainly motivate some with prizes and an award at the end (if the student happens to meet his/her goal without fuss and forcefulness). Typically these programs only hit those with intrinsic motivation and/or those students whose parents sign them up to take the onus of being the “bad guys” when it comes to getting their kid to keep up their reading over the summer months and not lose everything they gained in the previous school year. From a future third grader:

Quadblogging - Sign up Quad Blogging - lessons learned A couple of weeks ago we had our final Skype call this year with our quad blogging action research team to pull together the lessons learned from having 4 classes of students from schools around the world interact with each other using blogging. As teachers we were inquiring into the impact of using blogging as a tool to improve writing. The gut feeling from us all seems to be that quad blogging has led to a dramatic improvement in some students' writing - students have stepped up and put a lot more effort into their writing as a result of producing authentic blog posts for a specific audience. Does quad blogging take more time? For teachers who have been following along with our journey, who are perhaps thinking of getting involved in quad blogging themselves, one of the most common questions we've been asked has been about finding the time to fit the blogging in. How did we assess the quality of writing? How did students choose whose posts to comment on?

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