Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blogging Connects Hometown Soldier with Hometown Middle Schoolers

Blogging connects an American soldier in Afghanistan with middle school children from his hometown in Ballard County, Kentucky. A seventh grader at the Ballard County Middle School helped to design the blog in December 2008 including a picture of an ice storm in January. Since, pictures of the middle school have been posted to the blog, and the National Guard Aaron Connor has been writing posts about life in Ghazni City, Afghanistan where he is stationed.
According the Ballard County School District website, “A blog has been set up where students can ask Connor, 26, questions and the soldier can respond. The public can visit at Many questions have been added to the blog, as well as photographs of sixth-grade activities. Connor, a gunner on a transport vehicle, has been asked about anything from his dogs, to the weather, to what he does for fun. He already has responded to many of the posts, and is in the process of answering the questions in three parts: his daily life; Afghanistan; and the dogs. On the blog, students can also comment on things that are happening in their daily lives, as well.” You can read more about Connor’s blogging, emailing, and phone calls with the students by scrolling down on the district website at: reading about the blog at the district site and skimming the blog, comment on ideas that you have for using blogging to forge international connections. (Image from Aaron's blog shows sixth graders at the Ballard Middle School.)


Michael HATZIKOSTANTIS said...

WOW! Good job Ballard County Middle School. That is really nice. I cannot imagine being in a hostile environment without the proper supplies and motives.

My brother in law went to Kuwait for 14 months. He came back recently. Things are not bad there like the other two places.

As Americans, we must always help our men and women in harms way in any way we can even if it is just providing a smile to a soldier.

I pray to God above that one day soon our President does bring our men and women home safe and sound.

Boys and girls of Ballard County, KY, you should make this blog public. Contact ABC,CBS, NBC, CNN, and FOX.

Let's contact our politicians and remind them that war should be the last resort, not the first.

Abbey said...

I think that this blog it a great way for the students at Ballard County Middle School to understand and learn about the world around them. It is great that the blog was set up the students are corresponding and asking questions.

As a Social Studies teacher I think blogs are a great way to communicate internationally. A school could set up a blog to correspond with a school oversees. This could be like modern day pen pals. Teachers can always tell students about other countries and culture but letting them write with someone who lives in a different country would make it more "real" to them.

michele s said...

While we want to protect our children from the horrors of war, it is important that they connect with many people of all walks of life. I have heard how much soldiers appreciate contact with the states. This sounds like a learning activity for all involved.

Michael H said...

I agree with both of you. Yes, we do need to protect our children from the horrors of war; however, we are neck deep in it now. NOt only are our men and women over there, but there is no way we can leave. I do not believe that we will be out by 2011. There is no way. The government of the Green Zone will be hunted down. Enough of that.
On the other hand, yes, this is a great way not only to communicate with fellow teachers and our students, but it is the modern version of penpals.
I would like to know what that soldier is saying to the students at Ballard County Middle School. I hope these students put a smile on at least one soldier's face.

Annie said...

This is a great way for kids to learn about what is going on and it is a great way for soldiers to feel connected back to the US. Our world is a scary place and if students can learn from someone firsthand what it is like being a soldier and what not I think students will become more well-rounded individuals. I think that this is a great way for us to show our appreciation for the men and women who give up their lives so we can live ours.

Kathryn said...

What a wonderful idea...students (people?) need to be more connected to the happenings of our world-and war is a part of our world. we should never forget our soldiers, and this is a wonderful way for students to be connected to something greater than themselves. I will be adding this blog link to my blog in hopes of spreading the word.

Thanks for sharing!

Sacha K. said...

The students and teachers at Ballard County Middle School are doing a good thing with their blog. Not only does it connect the students and the soldier involved in the war, this blog will help the students, and hopefully politicians, realize there’s human face to war. Both my brother and brother-in-law have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, so this is a blog I will make them aware of and could likely duplicate in the future.