Today, May 1st, is the start of a month long comment challenge. I’m not sure what I’ve gotten myself into but I’m up to the challenge. Kim Cofino sent out tweets about the challenge so I checked out the wiki and wanted to get involved. There are currently 77 bloggers challenging themselves to be better at commenting or at least be more prolific for the month of May.

Welcome to the 2008 Comment Challenge!

Challenging bloggers to become better blog citizens. Challenge runs from May 1 – 31, 2008.

Coordinated by Sue Waters, Silvia Tolisano, Michele Martin and Kim Cofino
Sponsored by coComment and Edublogs

We would like to challenge participants to be better blog citizens tracking who is the commenter with:

  • The most comments on a wide range of blogs (not just the “top” edubloggers)
  • The most high quality comments that thoughtfully reflect on the topic
  • The comments that provoke and promote the most learning
  • And one more – we need your input! add to the activities page please

As I looked through the wikispace I noticed a page devoted student groups and student activities. Because I’m always looking for ways to expand my students writing and use of Web 2.0 tools I joined the student groups. My students leave comments to other classes but like anyone they need to learn how to write good comments. I sent out the challenge to my class on our class blog this morning. I now need to think of any easy and efficient way to keep track of their blogs. I’m looking forward to this challenge. Let the comments begin!

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I’ve been working on a collaborative project that will study and follow the Iditarod Trail Dog Race. I followed the race with my class last year and we really enjoyed it. This year I wanted to expand on the project to include teachers and classes I was working with on my class blog. Fortunately when I looked at the requirements for my EC&I 831 class there was a major technology project required. This was what I needed to stop thinking about the project and get on it. I contacted several teachers requesting them to join me in the project.

February 4th, tomorrow, is the day we start. I’ve prepped my class of grade six and sevens and we’ve had a look through the wikis I’ve set up for the project. I’ve had class lists emailed to me and set up the students in groups. My students have already been chatting to their partners in Seattle and North Battleford. The group in Beiruit has had some political turmoil that has disrupted school but Barbara has put a group of students together that have started to attend school again. It’s a learning experience for all of us and I think we’re as excited as the students to begin.

Wish us luck as we start our learning adventure. Peek into our project wiki and see what we’re up to.

Iditarod

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons Kayak 49

I’ve been thinking about the make up of my professional learning community. Who are the people I talk to, collaborate with and discuss new ideas? My professional learning community is the world wide network of educators who like me, are trying to integrate technology into their classroom. My PLC is outside the walls of my school and possibly the limits of my city. My closest collaborator lives within the same province but we’ve never met. I receive feedback from a teacher in Seattle and I reguarly share ideas with a teacher in Beiruit, Lebanon. I’ve received wonderful emails from teachers in Korea, Australia and throughout the United States. I’ve just been chatting to a teacher/librarian in Rhode Island who shares the same sense of humour as I do. Today when I was looking at novels in the library I started wondering who might want to collaborate on a novel study after Easter. These wonderful people in my PLC encourage me to think beyond my classroom and push the boundaries of my four walls.