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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Where are the Comments? Learning Communities and #etmooc

I was going to tweet this after listening to the last 15 minutes of Dean for #etmooc on connected learning tonight. My mind has been spinning. Here's my issue. Comments can break a great blogger and no I do not mean poor comments, I mean no comments, I have been teaching blogging for gosh, three years now and it is by far my biggest complaint or issue from students. I personally don't mind, I have not put the work into my blog to warrant the traffic YET. Notice I said yet. So here's my question, I tell my students to be patient, to tweet, to link back to themselves, to label, so what am I missing?? I want to share, I want to build, when does one actually find themselves getting good feedback for learning on one's blog? I think many people in this #etmooc have said it a lot this week, we have to comment on othersI have often sent out this link 7 Tips to increase your Blog Comments, please take a read and I would truly like to know what my new community and friends think of increasing good content on your blog? When do my students and myself become like Dean or Alec, who I imagine get to learn from their own blogs everyday.. ???

I'll in turn promise that for every blog post I write such as this. I shall go through the etmooc blogs and comment on 10 others. Call it a new years resolution I think I can keep. :)

I would be remiss If I did not thank Alec as already my own traffic and learning network has increased in 10 days. Thanks putting together such a great community of learners at etmooc!

29 comments:

  1. Someone I work with once said that she felt that she blogged into a black hole... I, too, find it a little discouraging when I put my ideas out there and all I "hear" are virtual crickets. Whenever I write a blog post, I tweet it as well as send a link via email to staff (because a good portion are not on Twitter still). Interestingly, I tend to get more comments offline from staff. In the lunch room, someone will say something about a recent post I wrote, and I am surprised that they have read my blog as still there are no comments. Another common practice is sending me a reply to my post email blast. The reply demonstrates that the person read my blog post; however, they opted to send me a comment via the old email method instead of on the blog. I guess I should just be happy that I am having conversations, but it still alludes me why they won't comment directly on the blog. Perhaps, it's too public?

    But enough about me... when it comes to students, I encourage and support time for them to comment as well as post. The excitement in their eyes when they receive a comment even from a classmate drives the writing process. #comments4kids has been a true gift and inspiration for my students. Have you used it?

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    1. Yes, the black hole. I have been part of it for a while. I'm so glad I'm not alone. One starts to wonder if they are blogging for their own benefit only and well, I have a journal. I like to share. Thank you so much for the resource #comments4kids. That is awesome and I will pass it along. What a great idea. Appropriate and fulfillng comments for students. I love it. I just used my new diigo account to put it on my hit list of things to look up :) Thanks again!

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  2. I was surprised that this post still had no comments, despite it being posted almost four hours ago.
    I just started blogging and while self-gratification through writing is great, it's the comments visitors leave that actually make my posts conversational. We need engagement to grow.

    So, here's my comment: thanks for sharing this most excellent point!

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    1. Stephen, You are too cool. I will definately look over your blog. I like your style. Four hours was nothing, I have posts that are years old,but we do have more tools to help us share now. We do need engagement to grow. I got 15 comments on this post and have had the best learning day ever. Thank you for commenting. I will be sure to return the favor:) Sherry

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  3. This ETMOOC is the perfect environment to start a new blog, or to reinvigorate an existing one. Through this course, authors have an audience ready and willing to engage on topics each of us is writing about. With any luck, you may well gain readers ready and willing to engage with you beyond the course.

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    1. Thank you Rood, I completely agree. We have all gained an valuable resource and community. My best blog day ever! It really does only take a few comments to brighten your day and continue your want/need to blog.

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  4. Hello,
    It is so true - all people are motivated by validation and recognition! For the last year I've had a few personal blog posts with no comments. It doesn't motivate one to keep writing.
    For my students - on our class blogs - I mandated 2 comments (hence reading each others' work) to be done within 5 days of post deadline. I evaluate it too. I must say that this mandate has been awesome and what amazes me is how the kids show such great character in their commenting. It was my unexpected surprise, which I LOVE! Here are the expectations I have:
    “Quality comments” means:
    - writing the comment like a letter (greeting, body, closing, signature),
    - using correct spelling, punctuation and spacing,
    - reading over the comment and editing before submitting,
    1) complimenting the writer in a specific way
    2) offer constructive criticism (i.e. clarifications, suggestions to improve quality of students' writing)
    3) asking a question, and/or adding new information to the post

    See one of my class blogs here - scroll down to see how the comments are expected to be done:
    http://hunniblog20.edublogs.org/2012/11/11/preparing-for-the-future/

    Good luck!
    Pamela


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  5. Great questions. While I've had a personal blog off and on for several years (I think I started it during the 2008 Presidential campaign), I'm new to student blogging. So, unfortunately, I don't have much to offer by way of advice or suggestions. But my experience thus far with my #etmooc blog has clearly demonstrated just how important comments are for maintaining the life of a blog. Several people - unknown to me outside of this shared online experience - have taken time to answer my questions, follow up with resources, and encourage me as I explore my own learning goals. That kindness has been incredibly motivating to me.
    As such, I thought it proper to write you a note to say that I enjoyed reading your post, have similar questions about how to maintain a steady readership for a class blog (quadblogging?), and am looking forward to learning with and from you in this area over the next 9 weeks and beyond. Keep posting! And please let me know if you have an epiphany! :)

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    1. Hi David, Today was my ephiphany. Join as many mooc's as you can. My best blog day ever with over 15 comments, sharing like this is true learning and I love it. I'm currently teaching at the post secondary level but when I taught middle school, they did very well blogging and commenting with each other through blogspot. They actually shared more online than they would have in a conversation sitting next to their friends. It is a wired world. Thanks so much David, I hope to return the favor :)

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  6. It is not just blogs that suffer the "NO COMMENT" fate if your part of a workplace intranet or confluence often you will be left wondering what is the point of posting and sharing no one looks at these. But then you get a response from just one person that makes your whole year of sharing worthwhile.

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    1. I agree 100%. Today was a great experienc and Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment. It is greatly appreciated. I like your blog and have added it to my list. :)

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  7. Great post. I agree it can be difficult and disheartening when the comments don't come. With my students, we signed up for Quadblogging which was great as it linked us with 3 overseas classes and took it in turns to be the focus blog. I have also joined in with blog dipping via twitter which has gained us another audience. My challenge is getting the parents of the students interested, and consistently. Many of my parents last year barely commented which as a parent, I find amazing. The blog is such a snapshot of classroom life.
    Any ideas welcome!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Mary

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  8. Hi Shegstrom. I can't find your first name, so I'll just use your handle :) This is my 2nd attempt. Lost my first comment :( I think your post probably is what a lot of people feel but never say. I read the "7 Tips to Increase Blog Comments," and they seemed helpful. Because I'm a new blogger, I'm not sure how much help I can be, but here are my thoughts. I've thought about asking a few people in #ETMOOC to be a part of my PLN and help me by reading some of my posts and leaving comments to engage a discussion. I've been working to read other blogs and leave comments, and when others read mine, I reply to them. I guess that I'm hoping that if I comment on others posts, they will think of checking mine out, as well.

    If I write regularly and no one comments, I think that my learning will be limited to my perspective. For awhile, the discussion may reside on the blog posts of others. Our district teachers doing online courses have agreed to set up topics for weekly discussions and help students learn to reflect on their peers writing and engage the discussion with them and share perspectives. Students are asked to comment on the posts of at least two others students AFTER writing their own. And the students are growing in their writing and thinking. They are seeing the value of that interaction and look forward to it. I'm hoping I will learn by being a commenter, that others will look to read my own original writing and thinking. Thanks again!

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    1. Glenn, Welcome to blogland and may I say Thank you for such a great comment. You do get limited to your own perspective. I work online right now and without the comments and discussions, I cannot determine how well my students are learning so to get the feed back on my own personal blog was very very cool. I have finally realized 5 years later that the key is having a great network like etmooc to help as well as frustrated sharer's like us to say hey" I have something to say", help me out :)

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    2. First name, Sherry, I get called "shegsrom" online and in my Skype sessions, it's my trademark I guess.

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  9. I completely agree with this statement. Usually the amount of effort I put in is similar to that which I receive.

    Great post!

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    1. Thanks for commenting Vanessa, I believe it is true of anything we do with some exceptions, life is after all full of challenges. I'm so glad you liked my post. Sue shared a great link with me I thought you might like. Connecting with Other classes. Enjoy!

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  10. I know today's education generations is allowing more and more technologies with them because in future it would the best for their student and they will be aware with latest technologies in the world.

    matlab assignment help

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  11. It's about helping your students develop connections and interact with each others blogs; and helping them learn to connect with others that will help their learning. Publishing posts doesn't necessarily bring readers, or comments, but becoming part of a learning community can.

    Here's some strategies used by educators to connect their student blogs - http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/2012/09/04/activity-9-connecting-with-other-classes/ You can take many of these types of concepts and adapt to different age groups.

    The other aspect is regardless of age students often need to learn about quality commenting skills. You'll find tips here - http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/2012/08/09/activity-4-writing-comments-what-you-need-to-know/

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    1. Sue, Thank you so much for the great links. I can not tell you how impressed I am with all that you know and all the time and resources that you have. Thanks so much for being such a great help. I have used classroom 2.0 a few times, but I love these links and have already put them into diigo and action. Thanks again!

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  12. I'd add to the list of seven...

    Post meaningful, good comments on blogs that have related topics.

    Develop your identity as a resource (for insight, support, information, connection) on other blogs or media.

    Update regularly.

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    1. Those are great additions, Ive been thinking more and more about digital identity and developing it as support, information and connections in this vast sea that is the open web. Great suggestions, I shall add the last one to my list when teaching blogging. Thanks for the great comment.

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  13. I found the same thing when I was blogging consistently. I used my blog to share things that I had learned, not as an opinion forum. My purpose was to spread the wealth of information that I accumulated while preparing for teaching a grad class of teachers for Wilkes University. I had a built in following! But after a few years, I realized that my following dwindled, as did my interest in blogging so I let it lapse for about a year.
    I am energized again to blog and have started an online journal/blog about our 1:1 program planning and one for using with #etmooc My efforts have been to help other teachers find a blog that they can follow. There ar thousands of technology bloggers, so I don't have a problem find whom to follow. Sometimes finding a quality blog for a person new to technology is a struggle. I don't want to scare them off, but want to keep their interest.
    So I pledge to get at least 5 teachers following new bloggers and will comment on blogs I read for the month of February (and longer if I can).
    Great post....

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    1. I would imagine finding new blogs of quality to share with those new to technology must be a challenge. I'm curious as to what criteria you do use to find blogs for teachers?? I imagine it also has to do with their content ie. what they teach. Thank you so much for your comment. I think wondering if you have a decent post is scary enough sometimes. But I did it and I got 15 comments!! I am sticking to my pledge to enlighten 10 a day on etmooc :)

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  14. I found the same thing when I was blogging consistently. I used my blog to share things that I had learned, not as an opinion forum. My purpose was to spread the wealth of information that I accumulated while preparing for teaching a grad class of teachers for Wilkes University. I had a built in following! But after a few years, I realized that my following dwindled, as did my interest in blogging so I let it lapse for about a year.
    I am energized again to blog and have started an online journal/blog about our 1:1 program planning and one for using with #etmooc My efforts have been to help other teachers find a blog that they can follow. There ar thousands of technology bloggers, so I don't have a problem find whom to follow. Sometimes finding a quality blog for a person new to technology is a struggle. I don't want to scare them off, but want to keep their interest.
    So I pledge to get at least 5 teachers following new bloggers and will comment on blogs I read for the month of February (and longer if I can).
    Great post....

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    1. Robin, Thanks for sharing your thoughts, its amazing how many of us really do want feedback on our blogs. I quess it's like a written journal. If it's that private I'm not sharing it. If it is something I love and has to do with education, I want to share, I want to wrap my head around it. For me, It's all about connectivism so comments help me to connect. For example, I loved your blog, I hope I commented as I am following my resolution and have commented and replied to over 25 blogs and responses in 2 days. Not bad. Thanks again for being willing to join the cause.

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  15. This post made me think of the many emails I send to colleagues at work giving them information and very often don't get an acknowledgement much less a thanks for your hard work! I'm finding it very difficult to get into blogging, it doesn't come naturally but like you I believe that feedback and comments from other people would give me great encouragement :-)

    Here is mine if anyone has a minute

    http://maireadcan.wordpress.com/

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  16. Great discussion. I vowed to start blogging when I signed up for etmooc and this gives me that last bit of incentive. Thanks everyone!

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    1. Thanks so much and I'm glad it has helped you to decide to blog more. This post made for a great conversation, some great connections and lots of great information. I'll look for your blog! Don't forget, comments do help!

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