Saturday, 16 June 2007

Blog Comments

Thanks everyone for your contributions and comments this week. I have included an element in the sidebar of the wiki which displays the most recent comments left on the blog. Instructions for adding this element to your blog are here.

In the examples from Leanne and Rachel (see previous post) and Alisons blog, readers are able to leave comments. Also the comment moderation has been enabled.  The comments will be emailed to the blog author first and can either be accepted or rejected. There is also the option to allow anonymous comments, as Alison has used with her students.

Both of these options have the teacher as author only. The primary teachers have set up a class blog, however students can only post once the teacher has logged in. From your comments could I suggest we explore 'students as authors' especially in a secondary setting. Are there any examples teachers can share with us?

Some questions to consider:
How do you see this being administered in an education setting?
What are the potential benefits/challenges?
Also Alan's comment that these online areas can become a 'passive acceptance point by students' is, I believe, not uncommon in many online areas. So what is it that keeps these areas active, relative and has contributors coming back for more?

So... we have another place to learn...should we assume that because it's through this online medium that it is going to be any better or engaging than more traditional or familiar learning environments?

From "Today’s Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen", displayed with special permission. For many more cartoons, please visit Randy's site @


Fiona Grant said...

On the subject of keeping it relevant David's latest post includes some interesting reflections on teachers using blogging at Meadowbank School.

Rachel Boyd said...

Hi Fiona,

Yes, comment moderation is a MUST! Purely to protect students from spam/advertising and negative comments etc. Coincidentally I have recently written a post on just that: shortcut URL:

It's also a great idea to set the kids up as blog authors too so that they don't have to know the teacher's passwords etc. They also then only get access to the blogs that involve them.

We have both myself and "Room 9 Kids" set up as authors on both our blogs. I set up a gmail account for my class and used that for them. For secondary uses the kids could have individual access but in my primary setting, we don't need that.

Allowing anonymous comments is another good thing to have on your blog (providing comment moderation is enabled). Our kids like it so that they can easily post on other class' blogs within our school. It has also proved a hit with our "technologically challenged" parents (for want of a better word!) as they don't have to muck around making an account etc.

Have fun!

Paul Wilkinson said...

This comment caught my eye.

So... we have another place to learn...should we assume that because it's through this online medium that it is going to be any better or engaging than more traditional or familiar learning environments?

No! We shouldn't assume it is going to be better. What we should do is try it out and explore the medium and see if it is actually better or more engaging. There are many anecdotes coming out of classrooms to suggest that it is significantly engaging for some students. Don't assume that it is or isn't better. Try it out and let the results speak.

Fiona Grant said...

Thanks Rachel, that's a good option for students as log in for students though as 'Room 9 Kids' not each student with an individual login...yes?

David Kinane said...

Thanks for the link Fiona. Yes it seems as though we have turned some kind of corner at Meadowbank. Blogs are becoming viral within our classrooms. The international links are very interesting propositions, but as usual it will take teacher comitment and energy to ensure the links prosper and do not wither. The students will also need to have authentic reasons to contribute. Perhaps this will be the hardest kind of blog to ensure is succesful, but will ultimately be the most rewarding? Only time will tell, exciting times!

Mrs C said...

I guess it depends on what you want to achieve with the blog. One of my purposes is as a from of student appraisal on the content and the manner in which the lesson have been taught.

I thought that maybe a good use of students authoring their own blogs would be as part of a current events study. Students could follow events in various media and keep their own record of what has occurred. They would then have ownership.

Rachel Boyd said...

Yes Fiona, because of the age of my students (6 & 7 year olds) there really is no need for them to have individual log ons.... it would be too hard to manage and for them to remember. Plus I think that they'd each need an individual email address to add them as an author??
Anyway, is proving to work well and seems to be a great option for primary students.


Fiona Grant said...

Hi Alison,
I agree that, like any learning tool, establishing the appropriateness of a blog for the specific learning purpose is essential. Have you any thoughts as to how you might set up and administer students as authors in a secondary setting?

Also were you attempting to post an element on to the blog yesterday?...can I help ;-)

Mrs C said...

One way I thought a blog could be student authored was as a reading log or diary - either on a set text or on personal reading.

Alan said...

The passive response syndrome is,I think, a reflection of the student perception that the space is for education and not for social interaction to which they have become accustomed through the medium of the text phone. This means that for them to make effective use of the wiki or blog they need to change their mindset and view active academic discussion as being valuable and useful to them.
Teachers would need to encourage, actively teach with the blog / wiki in the classroom to break past the mindset.