This is the fifth post in a series of seven blog posts digging deeper into learning about blogging FOR your students.
- Reading Blog
- Writing Blogs
- Commenting on Blogs
- Connecting Blogs
- The Reciprocation Factor
- The Consistency Factor
- The Quality Factor
Becoming part of a Blogging Cycle
In the previous 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 time zone boundaries
- connect with peers and experts in specific subject areas or a wide range of areas of interest
In order to achieve any of these goals, we need to partner with and rely on others. That is actually the point: give our students an audience that is greater than one, connect to others beyond their teacher… If we want our students to have someone other than ourselves as an audience, someone else has to step up to be that person. We need to be that person to someone else
Quality and Consistent Connections
If we are relying, even expecting others (educators, mentors, etc.) to take the time to comment on OUR students’ blogs, we need to be prepared to reciprocate. Just as you would not expect to arrive at a cocktail party, where you don’t know anyone to announce loudly “Hey everyone, stop your conversations and start listening to me. I have a great opportunity for you to help me out.” Instead you would first politely listen to other people’s conversation, introduce yourself, answer any questions they might have and start building relationships before making a request of your own. It is no different in the bloggersphere. There is a an established etiquette in order to build and grow a quality network.
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 mutually 2: 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 for our students.
Reciprocation can take the form of:
- make 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 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 and take your students under their wings. It is about teaching beyond the walls of our physical classroom!
- Discuss the importance of reciprocation when involved in student blogging. How can your reciprocation efforts contribute to the success of student blogging? Leave a comment below.
- What shape has reciprocation taken on in your blogging adventure or how do you envision it for the future?
- Outline your commitment of making reciprocation part of your blogging.
This was the fifth post in a series of seven blog posts digging deeper into learning about blogging FOR your students.