You know about the 3 R’s… Do you also know about the “4 C’s” of 21st Century Skills as they are supported by the Common Core standards? In addition to the “3 R’s” that we grew up with, the “4 C’s” are designed to prepare our students for the demands of the 21st century workplace and community.  The “4 C’s” are known as:
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity/Innovation

Were you aware that the Common Core ELA standards call for publishing, communicating, creating and commenting ONLINE ? Did you know these actually apply to ALL content areas, not just ELA? Students are expected to be able to collaborate, comment and publish posts and comments effectively and properly. GlogsterEDU, GoogleApps, Storybird, Backchanneling, Blogs, Wikis, and so many other web 2.0 tools incorporate these key elements.  As educators, it is our responsibility to teach and support students as they learn how to be model digital citizens.

I found these great tips regarding ‘commenting’ and thought you might find them helpful in your teaching:

Rules for Commenting:
  • Acknowledge the author of the blog post.
  • Let the author know if you agree with him/her and why.
  • It is also ok to disagree with something, just let the author know why you feel that way.
  • One word comments are not very useful. Writing just “cool” or “nice” are not very helpful and don’t let the author of the blog post really know what you are thinking.
  • Always make sure you follow “netiquette.” Think if it is appropriate BEFORE you hit the submit button.
  • Always be polite. It does not matter if you agree or disagree with what you are reading in a blog. Don’t write anything you would be ashamed of saying to someone’s face.
  • Don’t hurt somebody’s feelings.
Comment Starters:
  • This made me think about…….
  • I wonder why…….
  • Your writing made me form an opinion about……. 
  • This post is relevant because…….
  • Your writing made me think that we should…….
  • I wish I understood why…….
  • This is important because…….
  • Another thing to consider is…….
  • I can relate to this…….
  • This makes me think of…….
  • I discovered…….
  • I don’t understand…….
  • I was reminded that…….
  • I found myself wondering…….

And here is a portion of the directions for a  GlogsterEDU project created by one of my colleagues, Liz Kerrigan, that deals with the commenting feature.  Making a comment on a glog:

  1. Click on the glog that you would like to view. After spending some time exploring, scroll down to where it says ‘Comments.’ Below ‘Comments’, there is a box that says “enter text…”.
  2. Write your comment in the text box. (See below for comment criteria.)
  3. After proofreading, checking for spelling, capitalization, and grammar, press send. Your comment will appear below the text box.
  4. Repeat this same procedure for each glog you are commenting on.

Comment Criteria:

  • Comments must be positive.
  • Comments must be specific.
  • Comments must be related to the information in the glog.
“Comment starters” to help formulate your comments:
  • I really liked …………………… about your glog because………….
  • My favorite part about your glog was………………… because………….
  • The most informative part about your glog was……….. It taught me that………….
  • Once question that your glog sparked for me is ……………..
  • Once connection I can make to your glog is …………………..
Thanks for sharing Liz!


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  1. Carolyn Stanley said:

    Donna, this is a very well – written post with valuable information for teachers in all disciplines. Too often teachers jump on the blogging bandwagon with few instructions on how to participate other than telling students how many comments they must leave on a set number of blogs. The suggestions you cite are very specific and helpful, not only for students but for adults, as well. I have been very impressed by the resources that Bill Ferriter (The Tempered Radical) and Caitlin Tucker (Collaborize Classroom) have gathered, as well. The suggestions you present are a nice, comprehensive resource. I also found the suggestions you passed on about commenting on Glogs were also valuable. I intend to share your blog with many of the teachers in my district. Thanks for curating these resources.

  2. Donna Criswell said:

    Thank you Carolyn 🙂 I empathize with your frustration re: # of blogs posts vs. the quality of posting. I see the same thing with other technologies: ‘X’ number of slides, ‘X’ number of transitions, ‘X’ number of images, etc., etc. Why are we not talking about the ‘message’, the validity of resources, the ‘argument’… It’s so not about the skillset or the elements that make up the tool, it’s about teaching, learning and assessment.. Thank you for those references as well. I’m digging in to them as we speak!

    • Donna Criswell said:

      Thank you Mathew. Several of the teachers in my school district use similar tips (rubrics) for commenting or posting online (see example above in their use of GlogsterEDU). In fact, it’s our responsibility to teach students how to become good and effective digital citizens as outlined by the ISTE Standards !(

  3. Mathew Pflug said:

    Donna, your post is really helpful for those who want to learn how to write properly. Only your tips can make comments already sound fantastic and correct. I wonder how many people/students really use that tips and if they helped them to improve their writing skills?

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