changing the world one comment at a time

buildSome of my Twitter contacts (particularly Shelley S. Terrell, or @ShellTerrell, who keeps the great blog Teacher Reboot Camp) have been encouraging me to sign up for the “One Comment a Day” project.

This project was developed by Andrew Marcinek, who posts about it here. The premise: once a day, leave a constructive comment on an education blog and tweet about your comment, using the hashtag #ocp to signal that your comment is a part of the project.

When I first read Marcinek’s post, I thought, Well, that’s a great idea, but I already leave many comments on blogs, and tweet (and blog) about some of them; why should I sign on to systematize something I’m already doing?

My attention was called back to the project by a tweeter today, and my perspective has changed a little.

In particular, in rereading Marcinek’s post, I was struck by the emphasis on positivity. For example:

I read the post, processed the information and responded constructively. Simple. Painless. Helpful.

…pick one blog a day…and leave a positive, insightful comment for the blogger.

Post a comment that is insightful and constructive.

Last week I had a trying guest blogging experience with a load of commenters who, despite their intelligence, expertise, and genuinely interesting perspectives, were not constructive or positive in their comments.

It got me thinking about the methods of argument, criticism and interaction that I value and that I try to foster in my classroom. (A subsequent post tried to elucidate my views on those topics; coincidental, because that post had already been planned, but timely.)

So when I went back to Marcinek’s post today, it struck me that the One Comment Project is an invaluable exercise for teachers. After all, isn’t this what we try to do for our students – to give them feedback that opens them up to learning? Point out what they did right, and suggest ways that they could do even righter? Ask sincere questions about what we don’t understand or agree with, and listen, with attention and curiosity, to their answers?

So I’m going to participate in the One Comment Project, and I encourage other teacher bloggers out there to do the same. Think of it as warming up for the new school year.

My first comment will be on the One Comment Project post, and it will be to tell Andrew Marcinek what a great service he is asking us to do for one another.

Image by Carsten Schlipf

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3 responses

  1. Great post! You make a valid point in saying we need practice in starting discussions on blogs. In this way we hone our critical thinking skills.

  2. I joined the One Comment Project mid-July, but only (very) recently have begun to work at it. My greatest weakness? Posting about comments back on Twitter with the #ocp hashtag. (Why do I need to tell others I made a comment–felt like a kind of self-promotion!) However, doing a search for the hashtag is what led me to your blog, and I love it! Without OCP, who knows how long it would have taken for me to meet you. So, I see the value.

    Thanks for making it easier for me to find you.

    (Now I just have to remember to tweet about this comment…)

  3. Shelly: Thanks!

    Barbara: I’m so glad you found me. I’ve subscribed to your blog in Feedly and am now following you on Twitter. I guess this is what Andrew had in mind when he started all this!

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