There is another step to this however. What about those people like me who haven't fostered a love of books, but have fostered a love of conversation, observation, discussion, we read only the relevant bits and watch and listen, we have plenty to say, is their hope for us? We have a love of what we do, our work, our sports, our families, surely Marie Clay has room for us. Through blogging we have become the recreational writers, surely recreational writers pass exams too!
For three years now I have followed a young mans blog he was 9 when he started. He loves sport and in the early blogs of 2008 his teacher/school cleverly used the Olympics as the hook. After a few posts I noticed that he was posting after 3pm and even at night.
The defining moment however came when Tanielu blogged in January in the middle of the school holidays. Name a ten year old pacific island boy who is recreationally writing in their christmas holidays. Yes there was a very real reason for the blog post but the boundaries between the classroom and home had become intertwined. Learning is everywhere, he wasn't writing because he was forced to, it was because he had to, he had something to say and he said it.
Other subtleties that come from this blog is that if you read todays articles and compare them to the very early posts you can see how his writing has developed amazingly (no need for moodle or mahara or scanning rubbish into an eportfolio). By the way Dan you are an observant, intelligent sports writer!
Tanielu keeps his cluster maps before they clear out annually, smart work Dan it can be encouraging to see those dots.
Search Tanielu in google, guess who is the number 1 hit.
If you check the comments you get people writing in Samaon. You get adults giving adult opinion. You get teachers encouraging (but not so necessary now). You get family members. You get classmates and kids from other schools. But the gold is you get someone called Dad, with amazing thoughtful, insightful, encouraging words. This is a winning story.
In many ways I can relate to Tanielu. I started blogging in 2008, I write because I have something to say. It takes time, process, thought. I know it takes maintenance, discipline but the bug is catchy, it's rewarding. When someone posts a comment it's cool. When you see a red dot on the map or follow the live traffic feed, its a buzz, and I'm a Benji Marshall fan too.
If you want justification for elearning, or you are thinking of blogging in your classroom then this says it all. I get ample visitors who look at elearning and I am certain they go back to their schools and do nothing. Stop the inactivity and get active, get the hook going with your kids now. As my old mate Jim Ferguson always said "these kids are year 4 once, make it the best year 4 ever". Foster a love of writing, it's not only possible, it's imperative.
Teachers this takes work, this is one small story, it's not a miracle, it is what is expected for 21st century teaching. Big ups to Dan's school you guys lead the way.
Go the Tigers !