Archive for December, 2009

Social Networking May Not be Productive

As I was out for my walk, I turned a corner and ended up behind a garbage truck (not a good idea). I watched as the man on the back who was emptying the garbage cans was talking on his cell phone.  He held the phone with one hand and emptied the garbage can bag by bag with his other hand. If he had used two hands, he could have dumped the whole can quickly but instead he took much time per garbage can. I had ended up behind a truck about two weeks ago and I could barely pass it since the worker was fast; this time I passed the truck with a few quick steps.

This man may be connected and in a social network but he is not being productive.  How does Web 2.0, the social network, allow our students to learn and be productive?  How do what the students say/write/produce using Web 2.0  connect with their in-depth learning instead of turning in non-productive purely socializing?

My new book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students


Kiva – A Great Classroom Web 2.0 Tool and a Great Holiday Gift

Kiva is a micro-lending site ($25 and up) that loans money to low income entrepreneur.  The loans general last 6-12 months so that a class can make a loan and then trace its history of repayment.

The site has a 96% repayment. The lender can select the gender, the  continent and the area of the loan (agricultural, business, etc).   Each requester has information about what he/she/they  want the money for.  As people lend a portion of the money, a scale shows how close the requester is  to reaching the  goal.

Math students can  do a multitude of math such as figuring out how many more $25 donations are needed for the person to get the loan. Social Studies students  learn about daily economy from what the requester wants the money; they can see the average annual income such as $2,817 for  Bolivia.  They also can identify all the countries from which loans have been given to a person.  Foreign language students can read the requests in the target language. Art  students can draw posters as a promotion for the requester.

In all classes, students can debate which person/group should get a loan from the class.  The students  can read to compare how many people from the same country are requesting money for the same thing (farming) and from which regions of the country the requesters are.  Have your students learn  more about the area from which the person is like and compare that area to their area.

More importantly, they can lend knowing that these loans change lives.

Give to Kiva as a class and as an individual.

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