Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reflections from Beyond BlogWorld

Its been a week since the opening keynote at the Blog World Expo and some really cool things have begun happening as a result. I attended a session called Building an Online Community and picked up a valuable lesson; if you want to build a community of people who you correspond with then comment on their ideas. Now, I read a lot of blogs. I just never comment on them. I have been reading blogs to learn about education and some technology tools that will help me help my students but I figured most of the learning comes in the reading part, never thought about the commenting part. So, this week I started commenting on blogs and tracking my comments using an awesome program called coComment.

Here is why I love coComment. It helped me start a conversation with Louis Schmier. He writes an edublog called Random Thoughts. Some of his best posts, the posts I connected with the most are about his humanistic approach to students. For those of you who don't work in a high school you might think, well aren't all teachers humanistic, don't they all value kids, isn't that why they are teachers in the first place? No, no, and no. Thats one of the saddest enlightenments I've had in the past year, most teachers at my school don't really like kids. Sure they like the good ones, the smart ones. The ones that have failed and are labeled failures are still failures in the minds of many and the steps needed to give them the confidence to begin succeeding are rarely taken. Random Thoughts puts this a lot more eloquently than I do, and I thank coComment and Blog World for giving me the insight and confidence to start making thoughtful comments on thoughtful blog posts.

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