Monday, August 22, 2011

How to comment on another post

When I decided to push blogging as a technique for my classes this year, I wanted to focus on more than each student just writing posts onto the unlimited data sphere that is the internet; I wanted to build skills throughout the entire online-life process. There are plenty of people who blog well, but a skill that I rarely see people do even halfway decently is commenting on others' blogs. Therefore, one of the things we will practice will be the art of commenting.

In studying what I wanted to ask from students, I stumbled across a number of great resources, one of the best being that of a 2nd grade teacher who's educated her kiddies on how to post great comments on their classmates blogs. Stealing some of her ideas, these are a few pointers I'd like to see my students focus on when given time to comment:
  • Write the comment like a letter, with a greeting, content, and a closing. I'm half-half on this one because I disagree with adding a greeting and a closing in the style of a letter. I don't want to see "Dear Bob" or "Sincerely, xxx"; I do, however, feel that a focus should be on structuring the comment with a logical, pre-planned technique. All I ask for on this one is to make sure that any post one is commenting on is commented on consciously.
  • Always use correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, and spacing. This one, for sure. I don't accept mechanics mistakes on posts, so I won't accept them on comments.
  • Have a point with your comment. When commenting on blog posts, you MUST use do at least one of the following:
    1. compliment the writer in a SPECIFIC way.
    2. ask a question related to the post.
    3. add new information, opinions, or perspectives.
    Brilliant. Every post must include one of these techniques. Failure to do so will serve as one not even attempting to comment at all.
  • Write a relevant comment connected to the post. Don't say the person is cool or ask what they're doing for lunch. When commenting on something for class, it must pertain to the post being commented on.
This will be a learning process for everyone, but as a whole, this is exactly how all commenting should look until further notice!

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