1. I have come to know that we need to teach our students the skills needed for commenting. I have been mainly guided in the last year or so by L Yollis and the work she does. Last week while attending the webinar run by Tech Talk Tuesday, I realised just how precise we need to be. If you weren't at it,
I advise you listen to the recording. The enthusiasm of the teacher and the modelling by the teacher is really important.
2. As a teacher encourage thoughtful commenting. How many times have you, on your class blog received a comment? "Your blog is cool, come and visit our blog." It's a start but there is no real engagement. So teach your students that they need to read the post and respond with a positive comment, perhaps a connection or a question, or added information or an opinion with reasons.
3. Many of your students may see commenting as something similar to comments they send each other by
texting! So commenting needs to be taught! So correct spelling, grammar and punctuation are important.
4. Students love to receive comments. Many of mine watch the count and celebrate with a post when they get to 75 or 100.
5. As a teacher value the adults who leave comments on your class blog or your students' blog. Email them and thank them.
6. Especially value other teachers from other classrooms who leave comments on your class blog or your
student blogs. Students feel very special when they get such comments. Once I left a comment on a student blog of a student in the USA. Later an aunt of his ( a teacher) emailed me to thank me, he couldn't believe that something he had written was read and responded to, from so far away.
7. As well as students loving getting comments from other teachers, as their teacher it thrills me when I see a comment from another teacher coming in for them. I feel like someone else is helping to develop them. It
seems to be like we are all fostering their writing and web 2.0 skills. I also love comments that tell a student their post is being used by a teacher in some way.
8. Teach students that pingbacks are something to savour as well. It means someone has valued their post and has linked to them.
9. Teach students about spam comments. Examine some together so that they know just to delete them.
10. Be aware there are various kinds of comments. Not all comments call for a detailed comment. Perhaps
it's just a short one. For example today on our class blog we got a query asking were we okay, because
of the recent earthquake in Christchurch. Or it might be a quick comment of some other kind. There is a time and a place for a variety of comments.