Thing 4

Mrs. Stephens’s Class:What Did We Learn? Fourth grade students share what they learned from their first class novel. The post also provides a link to their wiki page.

This blog had the students explaining what they learned from their first novel in class. It was fascinating to see how short and to the point their explanations where. The writing was a lot less formal than the traditional paper, but the reading was more fun. You can tell the students put a lot of thought into their responses. I loved the cohesiveness of the responses. I felt this blog helped other students become familar with their peers points of views and allowed them to explore a new outlet of learning and writing digitally.



In order for the environment to be ripe for collaboration, educators and learners must:

  1. Have a genuine need to be heard by others and, in one way or another, receive feedback for contributions.
  2. See living examples of collaboration (not case studies or projects from a few years ago) that they can become a part of.
  3. Have the time to connect more than two dots together. (Rather than connecting: “My students need to know this” with “here is the information” they need to have time to connect “My student needs to know this” with “my students need to evaluate this for validity” with “my students need to know how to use this resource to find the information” with “my students need to create new information for others to use.”)
  4. See collaboration as an extension of their natural instincts as a teacher (opening possibilities for learning).
  5. Find the backchannels relevant to them (these backchannels must be encouraged and honored as vital sources of learning).
  6. Know that their products and ideas are valuable.
  7. Understand the marks of successful collaboration. (They have to know what it looks like.)
  8. Accept that questions are both for interdependent and independent learning. (All questions are serious points of inquiry in The Ripe Environment.)
  9. Believe that personal and professional change can never be institutionalized. (Individuals create change, not schools or districts.)
  10. Know that meetings, conferences, and workshops are not the places where the most powerful learning and change takes place.

By creating an insightful list the author not only give advice, but solicits collaboration from others, by asking if we feel that these 10 “rules” hold true to us. This type of blogging facilitates learning by creating a cohesive collaboration in which other can share their own ideas and truths.


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