Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Kindness of Twitter Friends - or- My PLN Saves the Day Again

All but four of the third graders have published their first blog post. They are eagerly awaiting comments. Unfortunately, I know that the person coordinating the project in Bangkok has been out of town, and our Pennsylvania group hadn't started blogging, so our blog pals would not be visiting our site for a while yet.

Knowing how disappointed the children would be to come to class on Monday and still have no comments, I sent out a quick tweet on Twitter asking for people to comment on the blog posts. Then I went to bed.

When I checked Twitter the next day. I had a message from one kind teacher who had already left some comments. However, I had message from a number of other helpful teachers saying they had tried to leave comments, but were told they had to log in first.

Then I remembered that we had ticked the Learnerblog setting that required people to login to Learnerblogs before they could comment. We had done that to prevent spam, but it was now preventing legitimate comments, so we decided to change that setting.

After a long search, I finally located that setting again, and then I sent out another Tweet. In short order, numerous teachers had left comments for EACH student. Some of the teachers had lived in Singapore or visited Singapore so they were able to personalize their comments to address experiences the children are likely to have had. One of the commenters had attended our school as child, and later had taught at it. All in all, their comments were the thoughtful, well-written type that will serve as powerful models for our students as they comment on other blogs.

Even more importantly, when they visit my lab tomorrow, every single one of those bloggers will feel the thrill and validation that comes from having connected, at least briefly, with another person via their writing. THANK YOU to each of you who made it happen. Know that you have made a difference.