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For some reason, I could tell you plenty about the geography of most place around the world, but my geography of the United States is terrible. Fortunately it is improving, thanks to two schools from Michigan and one from Colorado joining the Writers' club... I hope to continue to be able to locate these on a map!

It has been another internationally-flavoured week for me; I presented virtually to Liceo del Valle school in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the Writers' Club continues to grow and evolve. I've had lots of contact with international collaborators around the world, and my thoughts are turning to how to incorporate the ideas of my others with that of my own.

I've shied away from introducing too much structure in terms of getting schools to work with us, but my ideas are changing and evolving. Not that there has been a problem with the amount of collaboration between our school and the rest of the world, but I do wonder if the lack of structure is a turn-off for some teachers rather than a drawcard, as it is for me. So I'm trying to find a 'best of both worlds' solution. I think that part of that solution is the concept of quadblogging.

What is quadblogging? This is taken from their site, quadblogging.net ...

Imagine four schools that had a partnership/agreement that would mean that for a four week cycle, each school’s blog would be the focus for one week out of four. Each school in the Quad would spend some time visiting the blog of the school for that week, leave comments etc. After that week, another one of the four schools would be the focus and this would be repeated for the four week cycle and then repeated. It wouldn’t take the pupils long to work out that during their week, they would get a boost in visitor numbers and comments. This would give a real focus to have posts online ready for this bulge in visits. During the other three weeks, pupils get to visit and comment on other blogs in their quad. Pupils being pupils, they would also venture out of the quads and visit other blogs that are linked.

Conceptually, this isn't far removed from what the whole purpose of the Writers' Club is... global audience, feedback from peers around the world... but my idea was for that to happen organically. It still does happen, but perhaps this can be an added extra for those already in the Writers' Club, or it could be something that entices new schools in.

I've been playing with tricks to make it easy to put up a set of links for a particular class, and I think I've finally got it... we put our quadblogging page up last week, so now it is easy for students to find the blogs of other students for specific schools.

So let's try it. This blog post serves as our advertisement - we're looking for three other partners to quadblog with, starting the week beginning April 16. Our students are aged 11-12, and we're from Castlemaine North Primary School in Melbourne. If you're interested, drop me a line at writersclub@thenorthschool.com, replying to this post, or signing up your school at http://thenorthschool.com/writersclub/join-us/.

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Don't worry, Rob... my geographic knowledge of Australia is pretty limited. I'm embarrassed to admit wasn't too long ago that I realized that there was a desert in the middle of your country!

While I'm writing, I'm going to be adding your Writer's Club project to a presentation that I give a few times a year, so I hope you get new people involved. And, when I can breathe.... I am going to get our group blog going again. Too much going on these days! 

Hi Lucy!

Well, I've learned to spell "Illinois" recently; maybe some of our American friends will learn to spell some of the charming Australian towns such as "Coonabarabran" and "Woolgoolga"....

We'd be honoured to get a mention from you in your talk... we're up to twenty-two schools in eight countries, so the community is growing nicely, but we've always got room for more!

I'll cross-post my next global ed post too.




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