I have an idea to have fourth graders do book reports on-line. I have little experience with 2.O stuff and would like some input about which would be a more appropriate format: a wiki, in which kids would change the book report about a book they've read; or a blog, in which kids would add their comments to the book reports of other students. What do you think? Or maybe you have a completely different suggestion?

Views: 47

Comment by Steve Hargadon on April 23, 2007 at 3:36pm
A group blog would be easiest to get started and for the kids to understand. Ultimately, I love wikis, but you'd have a bit more up-front time, and you'd have to explain to the kids about discussion pages--as that's where you'd be likely to have them comment on a wiki. Either would work, but I think you'd find a blog easier for starting.
Comment by Carolyn Foote on April 23, 2007 at 4:07pm
We've tried both, but I think blogs work the best. Although with a book discussion blog, you need to think about how to foster interactions.

One of my teachers was commenting that initially she had required each student to post their book review in a certain format, which they did, but then it was just a long listing of people's book reviews, rather than a back and forth discussion, which is part of a blog.

I actually think it's quicker to set up a wiki on the pbwiki site. Several of our elementaries use it for book reviews for younger students--they post the list of books, and each student can edit the wiki and add their review under the appropriate book title.
Comment by Durff on April 23, 2007 at 4:42pm
Use the blogs the first time around. Wikis can follow.
Comment by Sue R. on April 30, 2007 at 2:26pm
I think I'd go for a classroom blog--there are a couple of sites that make it easy to set up classes in a controlled space. Will Richardson likes to collect examples of classes on the web, so you might check out his resources and links pages: http://weblogged.wikispaces.com/Weblogs+in+Schools

I haven't used these yet, but I'd really look at http://www.classblogmeister.com/ David's space where he's set up a teacher review/control space is free.

Also free, and highly controlled (all teachers on the site can flag anything they see inappropriate, and the supervising teacher must review) but it still allows for intra and inter-school interactions, and is also free: http://www.think.com/en_us/
Moodle may have the same thing, too.

I've done a class blog with my middle school students on blogger, believe it or not, but only a paper blog with the younger group. The paper blog was by far the easiest to administer! ;)
Good luck! Sue


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