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Monday, February 1, 2010

Comments4Kids Begins

Comments For Kids
Comments4Kids begins today and will continue most of the semester.
As you start this series of assignments, there are several things you should know and understand.
Objectives and Importance of Comments4Kids
I consider Comments4Kids as one of your most important assignments. Why? because you will 1) meet and interact with teachers and children from all over the world; 2) see how differently blogs are used by teachers and kids; 3) develop and expand your Personal Learning Network (PLN); 4) practice using blogs with kids; 5) encounter reflections by students and teachers on their activities and learning events; 6) get additional practice in reflecting upon and reporting on what you are learning.
Why Are Blogs and Commenting on Blogs So Important?
You will have an assignment, a rather long assignment compared to those you have encountered previously, which will guide you through the experiences of EDM310 in the Fall 2009 semester. I have called this Kaia and Room 10: Why Blogs and Commenting on Blogs are So Important. You can start this assignment now if you wish. Be sure to follow the links in this recounting of a most exciting adventure. Come back to it later if you do not complete it all at once. I think you will understand why I am so committed to blogs and commenting on blogs when you review these two stories.
How Do You Know Your Assignment?
You will have later today (2/1/10) in your Google Docs a document called Comments4Kids Assignments Week 4. Open that document, find your name, find your assignment. There are several different kinds of blogs you will encounter in comments4kids this semester. Some blogs will have posts written for the class by the teacher. These I call Post For Class. Sometimes these posts are by students. I call them Post for Class By Students. In both cases you will see a number to the right of the Blog Type. Count DOWN and comment on the appropriate post.
Some blogs will have a list of students, or aliases for students. These will be links to student blogs, or some "space" that acts like an independent blog for the student. Students will have multiple posts. This is like EDM310. You will be assigned to a student (the first number) AND a specific post of that student (second number). Count DOWN to find the correct student and/or post of that student.
In some weeks you may not be assigned to comment on a kids blog. Instead you will comment on a teacher's blog. This type is called Teacher's Blog. How surprising! The objective in this case is similar. I want you to see how teachers use blogs to reflect on their professional activities and how they share their insights and experiences with other teachers. I hope that you will find these blogs useful your entire career and that you will be a participant in professional blogs when you become a professional. Belinda Flucker is an example of an EDM310 student continuing to blog. If you have any questions about the value of her blogs, ask her! And remember, Project 11 is designed to have you create a blog that you will continue!
Rules for Comment on Kids Blogs
Take a look at the instructions Mr. C has provided to his kids (5th/6th graders) about blogging. He has found out something about the blog, the class, the teacher, the assignment. He did that for his students. I make that a part of your assignment. So be a detective. Figure out what you can about the teacher, the class, the assignment. This will help you determine what to say. Next, you need to know how to say it. Take a look at Wesley Fryer's suggestions in his wiki. He discusses them in Constructive Commenting with Social Media. Be nice, be constructive, AND tell who you are. Leave your name. Identify yourself as a student in EDM310. You can add at the University of South Alabama if you want. Also leave the URL of your blog and invite comments on your blog. Oh, by the way, who is Wesley Fryer? I asked you to be a detective and find out these and other things. Well, you could look for clues or links on the blog or wiki. You could also search in Google. Try it. Don't forget, one of your responsibilities is to be a detective. Look around. Open your eyes. Don't try to do this assignment quickly, routinely, without some thinking and effort on your part. If you are going to be a professional teacher and learner, you must practice being a professional.
Post About Your Comment4Kids
Tell your classmates about your comment4kids experience. There are two reasons for this: 1) it helps me insure that you did this assignment and that some kid in a class is not left out when his classmates get comments from Alabama and he does not; and 2) reflecting and sharing on what you do and learn is an important part of becoming a professional teacher.
Neither your blog comments nor your post have to be long. They just must be meaningful.


  1. When I think of how your class has changed over the last couple years I worry that your students will end up hating me ;> I find it incredible that you have jumped on these new forms of communication and content creation so quickly when you were ready to retire.

    You are a real inspiration to me, because you taught me that we constantly need to evaluate and then re-evaluate what we are doing.

    Try not to be so hard on your students. They won't all "get it" and that is okay. Students need teachers with different methods of teaching as well.

  2. I inspire you? It is the other way around, my friend!

    And you are correct. It's now comments4all. My students are commenting on each others blogs. I think even with some enthusiasm!

    Next comes comments4teachers. I will institute comments on teacher blogs in about 3 weeks. Belinda is doing exactly what I had hoped would happen. Now I will try and plant some seeds so that there will be lots of Belindas blogging, reflecting, sharing away!

    You are my model.

    So, if you insist, I will try and be nice to my students as well! Or at least not beat them up.

    I am having SO much fun!

    THANK YOU MR. C! You never know what impact you might have with your crazy ideas. I love it!