Monday, October 27, 2008

Blog for Book Discussion Group at LFHS

Hello,

I've been working on a blog for my Bagels & Books - book discussion group at LFHS. We are currently reading "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer and the next book we will read is "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson. Bagels & Books is open to students, staff members, and community members and with the popularity of the book "Twilight" - we are up to close to 50 participants! The numbers of participants has grown steadily from about 20 at my first meeting just over 3 years ago to our current number of close to 50. I really enjoyed our workday on Friday and among the many ways I can imagine using blogs in schools, I immediately thought of creating an online component for my Bagels & Books program through Google Blogger. Not only would this allow participants to discuss the book as we read it, but it also allows for additional resources that extend the learning beyond the book. This also allows those who can't make the meeting to partipate in virtual discussions about the books. I also anticipate that this media will be highly motivational for our student participants who are sometimes hesitant to participate in face to face discussions with adults. Regardless of how many times I attempt to reassure participants that there are no "right or wrong" answers or responses - I think many students are very hesitant to voice their opinions in front of teachers - and the principal who also participates! At any rate - I know the kids will like this option and I think it will appeal to many adults as well. I can see this as means of taking this program to the next level and reaching out to the community in a greater way.

So here is the link to my blog: http://lfhsbagelsandbooks.blogspot.com/

I also have a question about linking to articles in MARVEL. You will notice that I have links labeled "Afghanistan" and "Pakistan". These were set up as links to articles in Brittanica Online Academic Edition through MARVEL. The first day that I worked on the blog the links worked, however, now they do not. Has anyone else tried linking to articles in MARVEL? I thought I would contact them to inquire about the ability/legality of linking directly to articles within the databases.

One other question: I had trouble trying to upload a picture through "Add a Gadget". I tried several ways - saving the file to the desktop, typing in the link, etc. and it would not upload. It just kept timing out. Any suggestions in using the add a picture option?

Look forward to your feedback.

-Cathi

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