Richardson's still talking (I mean that a lot more positively than it sounds!), and pointing out what a poor use we're making of the web's ability to connect kids to learning communities, or even in helping them to create their own communities.
With that in mind, and thinking about my earlier post on"what happens after you publish," I started thinking about my film studies class next semester.
I'm planning on having them do an independent study on a film genre of their choice. During that process, they'll keep a blog and do online reading. I think I'll also have them find a couple of related blogs they'll read regularly, and comment on. Even inviting comments on their own blog? Certainly I'll encourage (require?) they respond to each other, but it would be very powerful for them if that community expanded into the real world.
Yale film school is up the road. I wonder if some of the film students would be willing to be e-mentors?
I do think it's difficult to convince teachers to move beyond the blog-as-journal. Whether it's safety issues or whatever, there is considerable resistance even to encouraging students to read widely online and link/synthesize in their blog, let alone enourage beyond-the-firewall comments.