Revised TALONS RSS Blog Bundles

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After having realized that a few blogs from each grade weren’t syndicating with their classmates’ blogs, I started four new RSS feeds in Yahoo Pipes which now seem to have every TALONS blog coming through. I’m not sure if this was a problem with maximum capacity of Yahoo Pipes or another breakdown in the chain, but it seems to be remedied with the new configuration.

If you have been subscribing to the RSS feeds formally posted on this site, you will need to change your subscription to these new feeds, groups by grade and cohort. To subscribe, copy the ‘link location’ from each of the links below, and subscribe by adding to your content in a feed reader such as Feedly, or Flipboard.

PM TALONS BLOGS

PM Grade Ten Blogs

PM Grade Nine Blogs 

AM TALONS BLOGS

AM Grade Ten Blogs

AM Grade Nine Blogs 

COMMENT BUNDLES

As of now, the comment bundle for the grade tens seems to be functioning correctly. Here is the address once again, however: Grade Ten Comment Bundle.

The grade nine comment feeds had to be separated, unfortunately, for them all to come through. Here are those links:

PM Grade Nine Comments

AM Grade Nine Comments

Consensus communication, Talking Sticks, silent meetings, and Hawaiian talk-story

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I posted this video on my blog sometime last year, but think it might tie in to our recent reflections and conversations about how to go about actualizing the potential of classroom discussions. In the comments of the post, TALONS parent, Tasha, introduces a few ideas that may prove valuable in putting together next week’s Discussion series.

How might this translate to the classroom? Most Canadian students have run across the “talking stick” at some point, in which only the person with the stick (or other object) in hand may speak and where that object must be passed about for discussion to continue. Another approach which can help highlight quiet voices is to follow small group discussion with a larger discussion in which speakers can only represent someone else’s idea, rather than their own (thus putting the big talkers into the position of highlighting the opinions of their less assertive brethren).

Quaker silent meetings and Hawaiian talk-story are quite different approaches. Quaker silent meetings require silence both before and after speech, with the intent that the silence will facilitate thoughtful reflection and will prevent head-on debate or conflict. Talk story, on the other hand, is predicated on the idea of a shared, collaborative narrative, making use of overlapping, participatory speaking. 

It might be interesting to see what result the diverse approaches yield on who participates and how the discussion proceeds and what kind of ideas rise to the fore. Do different people participate? Do different ideas emerge?

Class blog buddies in Singapore

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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.