This is Part IV in the series “Stepping it Up: Learning About Blogs FOR your Students”
- Part I: Reading
- Part II A: Writing
- Part II B: Student Writing
- Part III: Commenting
- Part IV: Connecting
In a previous blog post, I talked about the importance of connecting your students’ blogs to others in order to:
- keep motivation and engagement to writing high
- communicate with an audience in a digital world via text, images, video and audio
- connect with a global audience, across age levels, geographic and timezone boundaries
- connect with peers and experts in specific subject areas or a wide range of areas of interest
So, if we are relying, even expect others (educators, mentors, etc.) to take the time to comment on OUR students’ blogs, we need to be prepared to reciprocate. It is a give and take. You will get the effort you put into reciprocating back.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word reciprocate as:
1: to give and take mutually2: to return in kind or degree
Reciprocating is one of the most important components to make blogging with your students, as a global communication tool, work.
If we want our students to have an audience, we need to be the audience for others.
It is a cycle that needs to renew itself. We need a commitment from teachers (who are blogging with their students) to contribute to that cycle, otherwise it will come to a screeching halt. By “it” , I mean the connections, conversation and amplification we are seeking via blogging for our students.
Reciprocation can take on the form of:
- taking regular time to leave comments on other student blogs
- teach your students to leave quality comments on other blogs with a link back to their own blog
- be trustworthy and reliable when in a blogging project or partnership with other educators
- take ownership of the quality of blog writing and commenting your students exhibit when connecting with others
- formally volunteer to be a mentor teacher for other blogging classes or students
In a podcast interview, I recorded with Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay, Vicki shared one of the components of a successful global collaboration project. She talked about the commitment from all teachers involved, the commitment to accept the students from someone else as your own.
I believe that this is key. The reward as an educator comes from teaching others…not just the ones that are listed on your class roll. Your students will benefit as well, when other educators reciprocate to take your students under their wings. It is about teaching through the walls of our physical classroom!
What do you think about the importance of reciprocation when involved in student blogging?
How can your reciprocation contribute to the success of student blogging?
What shape has reciprocation taken on in your blogging adventure or how do you envision it for the future?