Sunday, May 4, 2008

Comment Challenge Task

With the conference in my schedule on May first and second, battling Quicken into the Mac after years on Windows, and life I am catching up on the Comment Challenge today.

Where Have I Not Left a Comment
I have a lot of blogs in my reader. The majority have come from the people I follow in Twitter. My reasoning was, if I am following them in Twitter I should know what they have to say in general where they have more than 140 characters. As a result, I have commented on many blogs once or twice in the last year.

I opened up my reader today and came to a post, MySpace Musings by Mary Ann. I'm not sure if I've commented on her blog before, but this article spoke to me. To me, that's what commenting is all about.

The MySpace Issue
MySpace can be a very polarizing issue. People have some strong pro and con feelings about the site. I have a profile over there that I have used to simply play and learn. I must have created it four or five years ago. Since I work with grade school students, I have gone to the site from time to time to see what our students are up to.

It is, as most people know, very simple to state an age that allows one to create a MySpace account even if you are not the right age. I have found it became popular with the eighth grade one year, the seventh grade the year after, and last year a couple of sixth graders (and even a fifth grader) created profiles. I don't search too hard or too long, but they are out there.

We talk about digital citizenship and Internet safety in class throughout the year. I never point out individuals and speak generally, but the students will usually speak candidly in class. Often, once students learn that a teacher can find their page, they begin to work their HTML magic to code it as a more private place.

They still have a hard time understanding that their "friends" are, in come cases, acquaintances. Friends - of friends - of friends - of people they have not met.

Three Lessons I've Learned
So far, in the Comment Challenge, I can sum up three lessons I've learned as:
* I don't do well in challenges. It's easy to sign up, but there is just not enough time in the day to do the challenge justice.
* My commenting frequency is tied to how I feel about posts. I like the formula for trying out different types of commenting, but it might take me all day to find a post that I disagree with enough to complete the day 5 challenge.
* I think I will copy and paste the challenge items into a document, and tick them off as they occur in the next few months.

I think the Comment Challenge has been put together in an outstanding way. I'm only reading one challenge a day and I look forward to finding out the next task. I want to tie what I learn into lessons for my students next year. Perhaps that is the best reason of all for joining these types of online community projects.


  1. Good reflection.
    I agree that signing up is the easy part, but then finding time to do an activity takes a little more energy.
    I am going full-blast here because I truly want to be a better comment provider (sounds like a new government title: Comment Provider).
    Take care

  2. Kevin:
    I'm going to do my best to tackle every task. I'd just can't do them all in order.

    I think it could be a whole government office: Chief Comment Provider, Assistant Deputy Comment Provider. Right now, I'm working my way up from Junior Assistant to the Undersecretary of the Chief Comment Provider.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Now we just need a Rebel Comment Alliance and we have a TV show in the can and ready for primetime.


  4. Sounds like a summer project to me. We can be famous by October.


  5. Hi Ann,
    It was good to click here because I don't know if I've been here before, and as I moved to get to your comments section I found all your work with elementary kids and as I create a bloglist for my Summer Institute 08 I struck gold as I read along.
    And like you, I love Challenges no matter how much I can do.
    So just arriving here is a treat.

  6. Bonnie:
    I'm always looking for new ideas in the elementary classroom. As I have found edublogs over the last year, I've had some great new opportunities for my students. After I try something new in my class, I try to write about the experience. I'm glad you've found my ideas useful.

    I'm looking forward to continuing on with the Comment Challenge this weekend.