Friday, April 07, 2006

The Kindness of Strangers

One of the things I most appreciate about edubloggers as a whole is their kindness. This kindness translates into a willingness to share of their knowledge and time.

This was demonstrated to me again this week as our student blogs took off. I posted a short notice in the ClassBlogmeister discussion group announcing our blogs and asking for teachers and classes to stop by -- especially those who could model good commenting, since some of my students are STILL stuck in the chat room genre of commenting.

Within minutes of my post, two teachers had already gone in and left a few comments. Soon other teachers contacted me. One is going to have her middle school students visit. A fourth grade teacher added our blogs to their list of blogs to visit.

As always, these first comments had an electrical effect on my bloggers. They knew all along that their work would be on the Internet. As a result, many of them have spent more time than usual on revising and editing. However, it wasn't until they were reading comments from people in California and Italy that it really clicked for them. This is not just some assignment. This is real. Real people are reading and responding to what they have written.

Here's where I could get all sappy about the power of the pen, the importance of real world applications, the empowering effect of the red/write web. I'll spare you that, even though it all has me beaming. I'll just say that you for the kindness of edubloggers.