Looking for Grade 7 or 8 classrooms to collaborate with

Hi everyone, my name is Kisu Kuroneko and I teach Grade 7/8 literacy (English, History, Geography, Drama) in Ontario, Canada.

Over the past few years, I’ve been experimenting with integrating a variety of different tools in the classroom, including Google Docs, online literature circles, twittering in the classroom, wikis and blogging. Here are my professional blogs to give you an idea of some of the things we have done in our classroom:

  1. http://blog.classroomteacher.ca
  2. http://balancedliteracy.ca

I’m interested in finding other Grade 7 and 8 students for my students to collaborate with online. I think experiencing the global village by working online with students from a different school, culture, or continent is an exciting idea. Could you imagine video conferencing with a class overseas? Reading responses from students in a different time-zone? Collaborating on a common assignment / peer editing using Google Docs or a wiki?

Here are some ideas that I’m bouncing around:

  • At our school, we’re working through the challenges of having multiple classes collaborate doing literature circles in a combination of online book clubs and in-class lit circles. Please get in touch with me if you teach grade 7 or 8 English and would like to discuss the possibility of having our students do a common literature study on a common text at the same time. (Right now, one of the challenges we’re facing at our school revolves around the idea that we don’t have 7 or 8 classroom sets of the same novel, so we’re looking at the idea of using online newspapers which everyone can access.)
  • Peer revising / editing – students use a wiki or Google docs to collaborate with each other on a given task. We could use a blog format to post work online and have students provide feedback in comments.
  • Penpals – letter writing activities

If you’re interested in discussing possibilities of having our Grade 7/8 students interact with each other, please leave a comment below on this post.

Why we’re thinking about leaving Bluehost and finding a new home for our Classroom Blogs

We run several classroom blogs and professional sites, including this blog on using educational technology in the classroom. Mostly we use WordPress, but lately we’ve been experimenting with bulleting boards (phpBB) for our online literature circles.

You can only go so far with free accounts, whether they’re with Blogger, WordPress.com, Edublogs, or Wikispaces. Eventually, you want to be able to do more. That’s when we looked into setting up a self-hosted WordPress account and looked into finding a web host.

Up until now, we’ve been quite happy with BlueHost. They use Simple Scripts to let you set up a variety of websites with the click of a button, including WordPress, phpBB, etc.

So, what changed?

Continue reading “Why we’re thinking about leaving Bluehost and finding a new home for our Classroom Blogs”