I’ve written on a few different occasions about my friend Jabiz and his class of high school bloggers in Singapore, and how as we’ve uncovered our own approach to writing, sharing, blogging and teaching more or less on parallel courses on opposite sides of the Pacific (even though Jabiz is a Californian by birth and hence shares a little of the British Columbian in me).
As we move into the Christmas break, and the TALONS blogs have begun to gather a little bit of post-Eminent dust, I wanted to share a piece of a post he shared this week that links to many of the fantastic blogs, poems, videos and other wonderfully personal and expressive pieces his students have been sharing recently that cover a lot of emotional ground I see and hear about in our own classroom: fitting in, being an introvert, the outdoors, current events, art, and art, and art. (FYI, this class’ class blog is subscribed to under our TALONS GReader account, and is available on Flipboard on the TALONS iPads, as well).
It would be great to see TALONS bloggers begin to take their own blogging connections out beyond the classroom and start to form their own networks of learners among students pursuing a similar course of study (Jabiz and I refer to one another as “My Internet Twin” if you’re not convinced there’s a lot of common ground here already). So take a look, a read, a watch, and if you like what you find, leave a comment. Knowing how it feels to realize that there are people ‘out there’ who read and appreciate our work is one of the most powerful aspects of conducting learning on the Read-Write-Sing-Remix web, and something I hope we can continue to pursue in the new year.
In the meantime, I’ll turn it over to Jabiz:
Let’s take a quick look of what I have found recently. Shall we?
A student who has been struggling this year because he is a boarding student wrote a post about missing his parents. This tender and vulnerable post came off the heels of an equally thoughtful poem which is still in draft form and not yet ready for publishing. It was so nice to see this sapling break through the dry soil. So often we assume that an empty garden bed means there is no life, but if we are patient and we tend the soil, we will surprised by what may be quietly germinating beneath the surface.
Another girl who has been quiet and shy in class- an observer- a lurker you might say– poured her heart out in a beautiful poem, another one not yet ready for sharing, but just two days later she shared this quirky and brilliant video about a failed art project. In the clip she demonstrates her fantastic ability to manipulate a camera while telling her story. Behind the lens she is an expert, but the beauty of this video is her self-conscious and self-deprecating honesty in front of the camera at the end.
A few weeks ago, Michele shared her thoughts on Introverts and about the awkwardness of adolescence. Perhaps her posts were what inspired Solal to write his Edublog Award nominated post Being a Social Outcast which has to date over one hundred comments from people all over the world who relate to his plight.
Over and over these kids are saying that they want to be heard, even when they don’t know why or how. These kids want to tackle complex issues. They want a place to find and share their voice. Maybe they are great poets, or perhaps they want to publicly and socially contemplate happiness. They are understanding that their spaces can be used to promote their projects, or share their moments of peace and excitement during school trips. They want to change the world and understand themselves. Theywrite novels, make cup music and just play around. They are learning about voice and online etiquette in conversations like this one.