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I have written about why I think blogging and commenting about blogs are an essential part of learning today in Kaia and Room 10 - Why Blogging and Commenting on Blogs Are So Important. Read it. And leave a comment! Thanks.
Dr. John Strange
I think the power of blogging for people of all ages is amazing. The ‘authentic audience’ element is crucial. Writing a blog post is so much more powerful than writing in our notebooks (the old paper type I mean).
The Power comes from the two-way relationship between the writer and the readers. The affirmation, validation and encouragement received when one receives comments is a strong motivator. I know there are people who say that they blog for themselves and any comments are mere icing on the cake - but I doubt there is anyone who does not get a certain degree of excitement when they see that a comment has arrived on their blog. We all like feedback!! This particularly applies to children who are new to blogging, but also applies to those of us a little older ;)
Once I started blogging, I started commenting too - I realised what I see as the responsibility to respond - how could I expect comments if I never gave the feedback myself?
As a teacher, it is wonderful to see the subject matter being taught in Australia sits well with a worldwide audience - a recent unit of recycling by 5/6 year olds drew support and interest from all corners of the globe - that was very cool!
Comments made on the blogs of my students has made an extraordinary difference in only a short time. It has given my students an audience of unprecedented size. An audience who helps them to feel as though their writing is relevant, important, and sought out. It has helped them to feel accountable and responsible for what they put online and has helped them to feel like they have a voice in a world dominated by those older than themselves.
Blogging with students is a meaningful learning experience. Every time my students get a new comment they realize they are writing for an audience and connecting with the world. They find this absolutely motivating and inspiring. What's more they have even gained more confidence.
Leaving comments on other students' blogs has been really powerful too. We have expanded our classroom walls by blogging and commenting, and this has made a difference for my students.
Thanks to #comment4kids and the large amount of comments they get, my students have become very aware of the larger audience they have with their own blogs. I am left in no doubt about their excitement when they get comments on their blogs, it makes reading and writing more real to them.
My students love blogging and I love the many teaching and learning opportunities it presents. It is wonderful to see their learning conversations and key competencies developing through commenting.
I teach 5-6 year olds and we have only been blogging since July. I have spent lots of time modelling how to use the blog and how to write and respond to comments. There is nothing more thrilling for my students when we see that we have received a comment from America, Canada, Argentina or New Zealand. We look at the world globe and find the country that has visited our blog and made a comment. We were so lucky to receive 35 comments from Wm Chamberlain's class (thanks to his creation of #comments4kids) and after returning from holidays today I was able to share these with my kids. They were very excited. The power of blogging! Opening ourselves to the world to share ideas, receive feedback and learn from each other. Tonight one of my students has posted a comment on our blog. This is also very exciting. Tomorrow we will share this comment, encouraging others to have a go. Blogging offers authentic reading and writing opportunities and commenting allows for instant feedback and sharing of ideas. This is an amazing experience.