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