Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Checking In!

Wow! I’ve not been here in a long time—

First, I wanted to welcome any folks who have arrived here from PEARLS PLP! I am humbled and honored that Sheryl has asked me to participate.

Why I’ve not been here? I’ve been out in the comments and connecting with students. Why? I have learned so much from the dynamics, conversations, and thinking that permeate the edublogging community but from the voices of students on blogs, I’ve witnessed the power of this technology to engage learners in meaningful, constructive learning. Because I am not currently in the classroom with students, (and if I were, we all would be blogging) I’ve chosen to comment to students to encourage and nurture positive, honest conversations that I think can extend and celebrate learning. I am drawn to the student voices, wanting to make a connection, in some way to support their learning and let them know that their thoughts and their feelings are valued far outside the classroom. I hope that I can help them maintain their engagement and extend their learning by affirming what they have written and asking additional questions. Sometimes the comments are light and celebratory. Others are probing and questioning. All are in the spirit of deepened learning.

Where have I been?
• Creating a wiki on the significance of commenting called “Second Nature”
• Helping Harley to post on his blog to engage the 5th grade webwriters
• Commenting to high school math students in Canada on their exceptional projects. Examples here and here.
• Commenting to high school students as they e mentor an 8th grade group. Examples here and here.
• Commenting to Jo McCleay’s students in Australia
• Commenting to Ewa McGrail’s graduate students in a teaching course at Georgia State University with examples here and here.
• Commenting to a student at SLA who was working on a project

When I’m here I’m usually talking to myself, clarifying my thinking, considering all the possibilities, and celebrating good pedagogy and learning.

If you checked out the links to the conversations and dialogues in which I’ve been engaged, I wonder then would you agree-- one of the most powerful features of blogging lies in the commenting feature?

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