The purpose of Comments4Kids is to enable both students and teachers to comment on the blogs of others and also to receive comments on theirs from others all around the world. When first reading about this initiative, I was a little bit sceptical. I was thinking “couldn’t anyone just go to one of the student’s blogs and write some unrelated nonsense?” I decided to test this theory, NOT by writing some unrelated nonsense though…that would be very unprofessional. Instead I chose a student’s blog that interested me and wrote a relevant comment in an attempt to encourage some higher-order thinking. You can see the student’s blog post and my comment here. If you’re wondering why I am listed as a guest, this is because I don’t have an account. After posting my comment, it told me that my ‘comment is awaiting moderation’. So I am feeling much more positive and less sceptical about this online program.
After viewing some other blog posts and comments I realised that this is a wonderful alternative to writing in old fashioned notebooks and gives students opportunities to receive support from other teachers, not just their own. There are just so many other great reasons for the benefits of this online program. Without hesitation I can also say that I got a real thrill in commenting on Sallie’s post and potentially helping her in her studies at her school which is located in America. If you still need some convincing go here.
How do we sign up and what do I do?:
As a teacher, all you need to do is add your class blog or individual student blogs and then choose whether you will advertise your blogs for comments using a tweet (twitter). Then you sit back and watch the comments flow in from other students and teachers and of course moderate each comment. For more specific information about this initiative and how to add your class go to this page.
If you do introduce Comments4Kids into your classroom, I recommend showing your students the first minute of this YouTube clip. It gives a tour on how to use the Kidblog Dashboard, which is where students will create their blog posts. The rest of the clip is aimed at showing teachers how to monitor and make Kidblog safe for their students.
Comments4Kids. (n.d.). Garb your Badge [Image]. Retrieved March 11, 2014, from https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1pdXge7TXjPOVp5d1k2bWZGQk0/edit
Feldmann, A. (2014, February 24). Tour of Kidblog Dashboard [Video File]. Video posted to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJJhDQZe5HU