“A comment a day encourages bloggers to have their say.” (A quote from one of my twitter friends.)
When using online tools, the power of leaving comments when viewing other people’s work should not be overlooked. Comments can be made on blogs, podcasts at www.podomatic.com, teacher tube etc and even be added to some vokis and voicethreads.
I can still remember the excitement, when our classroom blog received its first comment. Someone was actually reading our post on the www.backyard.globalstudent.org.au It read:-
Your “backyard” is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with the world. (Lori, California)
…and the comment was from overseas!! How absolutely fabulous!! That was it, the posts went up regularly – all students wanted comments, so they knew they had to complete the work, write interestingly and well, add images, if possible, for added impact and there was a need to proofread.
Here are more reasons on why comment!! (taken primarily from an educational angle)
- There is an authentic audience that is now tangible. Another memory from early this year, was hearing a simultaneous whoop of delight from my year 9/10 IT elective students when they discovered people were commenting on their posts. Now, that is a sound, we rarely hear in our traditional classrooms!!
- Comments can be so highly motivating. There is an authentic audience and real people are reading (it is not just for an assessing classroom teacher).
- They can lead to conversations. Students from the USA made comments on older student blogs asking for feedback on what USA was mentioned. That made my students sit down and think!!
- Connections are made by replying to the email address that must be shown when commenting.
- Establishes social networks The most experienced bloggers maintain good social networks as they email replies to all comments and conversations extending the post to even greater depth and levels.
- Teaches students and adults cybersafety techniques. Comments on most blogs require approval before they are published online, so students are taught responsibility for diagnosing and filtering appropriate material.
- It may activate student-led learning. Comments on some student posts have aroused the curiousity of students – the location of the person making the comment, the need to research further a comment on Mt Helen’s volcanic eruption, a question that requires higher order thinking skills etc
- An increase in personal confidence. People care about the writer and the content of the post. Further dots are appearing on their clustr maps etc. Students want to share their work and here is proof that they are – whether it be another teacher, parent friend or global visitor.
- Encourages regular posts – which helps increase reading and writing skills
- May drive the blogger to read the commentator’s blogs and learn about other cultures, ideals, thoughts, geographical areas and learning activities taking place in other schools around the globe.
Next time, you read a post, even if it is just a short one liner, please make a comment and it will make a big difference to the writer- whether they be experienced or inexperienced.