Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where in the World are HS Literature Blogs?

A blog seems perfectly suited to become an on-line Book Club, a way to share understandings and connections. Thus, I am curious to find out how other literature lovers have blogged about books. A cursory search using Google showed few literature blogs for high school students though there are several blogs for high school teachers which are informational in nature. Student participation is limited to asking more details about an assignment. Several blog entries advocate for banning "objectionable" literature schools. The top hit for an IB literature blog is an article accusing IB as being anti-Christian and anti-American. Several booksellers had blogs to convince readers that their products would be engaging. SHELFTALKER: A CHILDREN'S BOOKSELLER'S BLOG does have student comments, but they are one-liners.

I am looking for deeper discussion and closer analysis of literature in my model blog. If you know of a blog for teenagers to collaborate on analysis of text, not just evaluation, I would appreciate the link. One interesting project I did find is "The International Collaborative Literature Project" encourages students in different countries to share their cultures through literature using Moodle. What's moodle? This leads me to my next investigation.


  1. Barb, A tool that Dave Krocker and I used in tenth grade last year was a ning in which the students discussed their independent reading and class reading in an open forum. I have only just begun to explore all the possiblities of something like this, and it may not be exactly what you are looking for, but I think it has some great potential. Check it out if you are interested. http://reading4life.ning.com/

  2. Dana - Thank you for the suggestion. The ELW classes also liked and used Ning last year, so I would like to give it a try. I need an invitation to view this Ning site. Can you invite me through your account?
    Aside: Is this how I comment on your comment or do I go to your page?

  3. Hi Barbara,
    Moodle is a piece of online course management software. At ISB, it's been personalized as PanterNet. Everyone accesses it through the web, and it's organized by courses that you teach or students take. Teachers can post the schedule and files. Students can submit work, have discussion forums, blog, wiki (although not elegantly), etc. I have access to the 8th grade humanities course, which is one of the most elaborate in school. I can show it to you on Wednesday this week at the f2f.

  4. When you are evaluating a communication need and trying to determine what tool to use it is helpful to define what kind of communication you are envisioning along these lines. Is it one to one, one to many, many to one, or many to many? Is it real-time or archived, serial or parallel? A blog is primarily a one to many, whereas you want a whole class to engage in discussion you might want to use a forum, which is many to many. When trying to get the right tool for the job, it helps to start with a clear idea of the functionality that will most benefit the students then check with the Kim, Jeff, Chad, Dennis or any of the other tech ninjas here to point you toward the right tool.