๐Ÿ’ฌ Blogging has Changed and Always Will

Replied to Comments For Kids Still Count: Teaching And Promoting Quality Commenting by Kathleen Morris (Primary Tech)
While we canโ€™t control what goes on in the larger blogging community too much, we have much more control over our classroom blogging programs. The comment section is an excellent place to connect, learn, and grow. Who wouldnโ€™t want to tap into that?
Thoughtful as always Kathleen. I found blogging in the classroom really interesting, especially for older students who were well already versed in social media. They actually struggled to properly converse. I still wonder why? I am sure that I could have implemented more elements that you touch upon, but I also think that there was a shallowness. There were habits associated with feedback and engagement that we can sometimes take for granted. When I think about Doug Belshaw’s Elements of Digital Literacies, it feels as if this comes back to communication and confidence, as much as it comes down to cognition and constructive use.

When we rue the old days I wonder if we would be willing to give everything up to go back there? We complain about ‘micro-engagement’, but how many of us are willing to turn our back on the ease and benefits that it can bring? I am reminded of lyrics from The Bleacher’s track, I Miss Those Days:

And everyone is changing
And the storefront’s rearranging
I picked up a quarter and I just saw my face
But it’s all coming back now
Like the feeling isn’t over
Hey, I know I was lost but I miss those days

I am sure that there are aspects that have been lost, but I also wonder if there have been benefits as well? Blogging has changed and always will or as Martin Weller puts it, “the future of blogging is blogging”:

I know blogging isnโ€™t like it used to be. It isnโ€™t 2005 anymore, and those early years were very exciting, full of possibility and novelty. But just because it isnโ€™t what it was, doesnโ€™t mean it isnโ€™t what it is. And that is interesting in its own way, some of the old flush is still there, plus a new set of possibilities. Blogging is both like it used to be, and a completely different thing.

One innovation that I think has potential for supporting comemnts is Micro.blog. It allows users to share a feed from their blog to a central space and converse there. It is build on webmentions which allow comments to be syndicated back to your own site. Although I am not sure that the platform as it currently stands would be the answer, I think the features show a real prospect. I tried using the dashboard in Global2, but found the space was too busy.

I am wondering if you have any thoughts how we could improve comments outside of the classroom too?

9 responses on “๐Ÿ’ฌ Blogging has Changed and Always Will”

  1. Hi Aaron,

    I can’t believe I publish a post in the morning and you publish a response in the afternoon. Amazing! Thank you. Thought provoking as always. My tabs are full of your links which I want to explore more.

    I’m laughing about private blogs being like going to a party with a paper bag over your head. I haven’t watched the video in years. Such a good line!

    I actually love the idea of micro.blog or microblogging on some level. Having your own space seems to becoming increasingly important. Sometimes we don’t want the clutter and the workflow (writing the post, adding your tags, categories, captions, finding a suitable image). Too much time can pass between getting your thoughts down and sharing the post. There’s definitely a need for simplicity. I’m going to ponder these ideas more!

    Comments outside the classroom…do you mean how to instill genuine motivation to comment in a student’s own time?

    1. Thank you for the reply Kathleen. I definitely think that Micro.blog is worth a look. In regards to ‘comments outside of the classroom’, I wonder what conditions we can create to encourage more commenting and community? I signed up for ISTE Blogging Buddies, it was (or has been) a flop. I tried volunteering for student blogging with Edublogs, but really struggled to keep up. In hindsight, I should have created a feed (and wonder if Edublogs could automate the creation of an OPML) as I think that might have helped. I remember reading someone talking about creating your own little blogging community where you each commit to commenting on each others posts. I have Robert Schuetz in my community of one.

      Also on:

  2. I’m glad you ask because this is a topic I love!

    I wrote a post in 2011 documenting my journey with global collaboration (I should actually update that because a lot of biggest global collaborations happened in between writing that post and going on family leave). http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/02/10/my-journey-with-global-collaboration/

    In a nutshell, I started like 10 years ago by signing up for structured global projects like through sites like iEARN where you get matched with a class etc. It was okay but definitely only a starting point for a short period.

    It wasn’t long before I started to get involved in collaborations in a more organic way and this is where the true benefits came to life.

    My first connection was with Linda Yollis. We started commenting on each others’ blogs and got our students commenting too. Then we would write posts for each other (eg. film our class singing a song or something) and set up Skype calls. Before long we set up structured global projects. We also both started to meet other ‘like minded’ blogging classes and formed our own blogging buddy group where there was a mix of regular commenting on blogs and structured global projects that we set up for set periods of time.

    You might be thinking of QuadBlogging. There is website where you can get matched with 3 other classes and take it in turns to focus on one class per week for four weeks. I did this with the classes I connected with organically, rather than through being matched to random classes.

    I’m kind of not surprised the ISTE Blogging Buddies was a flop as I have seen a lot of these match making experiences to be underwhelming. I think the best idea is to create conditions where teachers can get to know each other. This used to be primarily Twitter, now there are other ways — Facebook groups etc.

    BUT you also need someone who likes to naturally lead these things. Like suggest ideas and get projects and collaborations going (this was often me haha). And how do you make that happen? I don’t know.

    Students are certainly more motivated to comment and connect with others when they have an authentic audience and ongoing relationships with others. And most students are intrinsically curious about getting to know peers from other countries.

    So I think this is probably going to happen best when teachers have their own PLN/community. Before long, the students will start forming their own networks too based on that.

    I’d love to see this happen more! ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW what is OPML as I should suggest that with the new Student Blogging Challenge starting soon…?

    1. Thanks Kathleen. I remember reading a bit of your journey as a part of an Edublogger post. I think where I differ from yourself is that blogging has probably been about my learning than connecting classrooms.

      OPML is a collection of RSS Feeds put together. You can upload an OPML file into a feed reader to subscribe to them all at once. I discussed it all a bit more here. I also shared one here with someone looking for a place to start.

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