Out of School Blogging: Lesson Two Connective Writing & Connective Learning
by Sarah Macie Skipwith & Anthony Miranda
We ground our thinking of connective writing, as defined by Will Richardson, as the ability to publish in a variety of media with the intention of connecting and sharing it with others who have an interest (or passion) in the topic. Blogging concepts all relate to each other, so to reflect the connective nature of blogging concepts we start each lesson with a mini-lesson or “daily doses” lessons. The idea of daily doses is borrowed from Jeff Anderson’s book Mechanically Inclined, which focuses on teaching grammar. We apply his approach for teaching grammar to the teaching of blogging concepts. Anderson’s “daily doses” exposes students to grammar through a text that they are currently working with in quick 5 – 10 minute lessons, and then after the quick exposure, the students revisit those grammar concepts and think on the function and meaning of those specific grammar concepts. We find Anderson’s “daily doses” practice to be applicable to learning aspects of blogging, so we altered his approach to align with the teaching of blogging.
We start each break out lesson with a mini-lesson “daily dose.” The mini-lesson/ “daily dose” includes first revisiting the concept we went over in the previous break out lesson (multimodality), and then moving on to introducing the concept we were covering in the current lesson, which in this case, is connective writing. The way we revisit the last lesson is by simply recalling the big concepts of multimodality through conversation and by looking at the blog that our tutee wrote to see if she practiced/applied the concept from the last lesson. After the swift review of the last lesson, we move on to quickly introduce the concept of connective writing in blogging. Similar to our breakout session activity in the previous lesson, we use our blogs to model connective writing practices. We frame a brief discussion around how blogging can serve as a connection to conversations with other bloggers and an audience of the web. Using our own blogs as models, we introduce how using open-ended questions, hyperlinking, and commenting can all serve as ways to engage in dialogue with an audience.