Thursday, July 12, 2012

Green Ink: Blogging for a Better Tomorrow


Green Inkers Arrive at the Summit and Get Ready to Get to Work
By Cyndi Allison Wittum (focus group leader)

The first night at the "Redesigning the Future: Environmental Summit for High School Students 2012" campers began arriving at Catawba College. Here are the "Green Ink: Blogging for a Better Tomorrow" group. They had opted to spend the week covering the news all across the summit.

I have called my group the Green Inkers. They look a tad nervous on this first night, but it did not take them long to get in the swing on things. In fact, I am absolutely amazed at the terrific content they have produced (working together) in just a couple of days. Only one student had blogged previously.



By the second full day of the summit, the Green Inkers looked like a professional news room crew. They were coming up with their own ideas, gathering information during the short breaks between sessions, and they had articles up and ready for review before the sun set. If anyone works with young writers, you will know this is quite amazing.


I put a few notes on the board off and on during focus group sessions and fielded questions, but the bulk of the time was "hands on." With only a week, there would be no blog if this fabulous group had not worked so very hard.

It's also important to note that we all collaborated. That was the real key to the success (and collaboration was the focus of the summit). If someone had a question, needed help, or had a portion of an article that needed filled (like a photo), they just called out. I covered some of the questions, but students carried more of that load. There was no way to be all over the room, and students brought in skills that exceeded mine in several areas.

Bloggers (in a group especially) usually don't get much glory. They don't write about what they are doing. They cover what everyone else is doing. This meant my group had focus groups in the computer lab but also spent their free time gathering what they would need to tell everyone about the summit. They were talking, taking notes, getting photos, and shooting video.

My Green Inkers aren't going to brag about what they've done, but I'm going to do that. This was/is a pilot project, and I could not have asked for a better group. Every one of of my bloggers went well beyond what you might expect.

Thanks to all my bloggers and also to Jessica (our camp counselor for Green Ink). You proved that something the sounded impossible is possible with everyone pulling together.     

  

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