Friday, April 17, 2009

#Comments4Kids Wednesdays

This post was supposed to be a rant on my perceived lack of support by the twitter education community in regards to student blogging. Not that they are against student blogging, that isn't the problem. The problem is many don't want to take time to comment on students' blogs.

As an adult, I love to get comments on my posts. It is important to me to know that what I say matters to others. I covet comments! Students aren't any different. They want to know someone cares about what they have to say too. Yes, they do get feedback from their teachers, but is that enough?

I tell my students all the time that blogs give them an audience they don't have with writing on paper and pencil. They have an audience that is theoretically as large as the world population. Do you think they want to put their ideas out for everyone to see? That is such a scary idea! How do you think they feel when they finally do it, but no one notices?

The idea came during a Twitter conversation with Carey Pohanka, @capohanka, a middle school teacher from Fredericksburg, VA. I had tried twice to get some fellow tweeters to post comments on her blog (see above), and she let me know that a couple (wonderful) teachers left some comments. Then she wrote this:

Then I get a message from Derek Smith ,@lovinteachin, a fifth grade teacher from Colorado Springs that said:
That was how #Comments4Kids started. Each Wednesday we ask for those of you that twitter to identify and tweet one blog post by a student that deserves to be commented on. It could be a student that posts something really awesome, or a student in your class that needs encouragement. Simply tag it as #Comments4Kids. Don't forget to do your part as well. If you see a link with that tag, click on it and leave a quick comment. Your time and effort will have a huge impact on the student that wrote the post.

Here is the link to follow the #Comments4Kids blog recommendations.

@jlamshed started a wiki for us to add our links. It can be found at:

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree that kids blogs need to be supported. As blogging teachers we know how frustrating and disappointing it is when we put work into a post an no-one comments. If we feel this way, then kids are also going to feel this. I think that #comments4kids is a great idea and will hopefully get some more comments flowing for our junior bloggers.

    I know that I don't comment on kids blogs as often as I would like. Finding the time to comment on any blogs is sometimes difficult and I tend to concentrate on those I have partnerships with and visit regularly. I'm sure that other teachers are in the same position. This is always going to be the way and with more and more being added to our teaching loads, I don't see this problem going away any time soon.

    Taking all of this into account, is relying on teachers to comment the best way to support student blogs? I think it is DEFINITELY important and we should all do our best to comment where we can, but I think it is equally (if not more) important to teach our students how to promote their own work. As a teacher I use twitter to announce my new posts and to try head traffic my way. Twitter may not be the right tool for kids (or maybe it is?) but there have to options out there for kids to take control of their own promotion. I know if I get a comment on my blog I will ALWAYS try and link back and return the favour.