Kids Like : Elementary student bloggers crossing the digital divide

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Cultural Diversity: Making Sure Every Student Gets a Chance to Blog

     I started off with just one student blogging in my class. Once the other kids saw how much fun it was, they started asking their parents to come in and talk with me. The number of student bloggers grew rapidly and their parents were very eager to have their children learn the technology and enhance their reading and writing skills. This was encouraging to see, and yet I noticed that there was a group of students who were not getting involved: English Language Learners.
     I happen to have a lot of Latino students in my class and I wanted to make sure that they got an equal chance to participate too. I decided to have a get-together in my classroom on a weekend in November and invite all the Spanish speaking parents.
     My wife was the key to this meeting. She grew up in Mexico and she made a nice spread of homemade Mexican food. Although I can communicate in Spanish, I don't talk as fast as I needed to convey all of the technical information to the parents, so she also acted as the translator. We didn't just talk about blogs, we talked about the class, answered questions they had, and then I made a big push for the parents and their children to get involved with technology.
     This seemed to have a great effect because the next thing I knew I was getting handwritten notes in Spanish from the parents, requesting that I set up their children with blogs! Check out this attachment that shows three requests by clicking here.
     I needed to train the parents too so I invited them in and spent some one hour sessions with a parent and their child. This was particularly rewarding for me because in some cases, this was the first experience with email that the parents ever had.
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