Author, Erin Downing visited The Reading Workshop blog last week. She commented on a book talk about Prom Crashers by Hadley. This was an extremely important event for all of the students, and especially for Hadley.
Students have worked throughout the year, with technology being integrated into everything they do in language arts. I have continually stressed the importance of high quality work, and we have had many discussions about how work published on the Internet can be viewed by anyone. This was never more evident than when Downing took the time to watch the book talk, and then comment.
It's ironic how so many little events led up to this memorable one. Several years ago, computers became a tool used daily in Reading Workshop. We started with word processing, built a class wiki, used Study Island online learning, and eventually started student blogs. This year, after I watched a session on Book Talks by David Hayward from ITSCO, I started having students use a Flip Video Camera to film their book talks.
Although there are many benefits to using Web 2.0 tools for learning, none can top having the author of a book take the time to comment on a student's work. It shows the power of blogging and how an online presence can contribute to students' education and motivate them to the highest level of success. With the use of technology in the classroom, an author can visit online and have a positive impact on students that read her book.
Thank you Mrs. Downing for making the effort to interact with The Reading Workshop, and for recognizing the work of Hadley. A few minutes of your time helped make a memory that will last a lifetime.