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Comments for Kids

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This section has focused on the future of learning, and with that in mind I tried to pick out an appropriate DS106 assignment.  Right away I saw “Comments for Kids” and knew it was perfect. After reading the Gardner Campbell article (and responding) I felt like this fit very much with what he was saying… except these kids, who are already creating online identities through blogging, aren’t even in high school.  Although I mentioned that my experience creating online also started in middle school, it had nothing to with any classes and I was never given the opportunity to “blog” as part of a curriculum. For some projects I did do “mini” websites just to impress teachers, but there was no guidance involved. This particular exercise is called “Challenge Yourself to Blog” and the below students are participating in it.

One thing I’d like to point out is that these kids having online blogs opens them up to a lot of potential internet activity that could be harmful.  It would be extremely sad if someone were to abuse commenting or something worse. Hopefully the teachers involved are monitoring everything closely because this is a very young age to be putting yourself online.

I’d like to share the comments I left with some students blogs and why I chose their blogs.  Primarily the ones I looked at were all interested in video games because that also interests me so I figured there might be some cool posts.

Brandon’s Awesome Place – 8 years old, USA

I thought the layout of Brandon’s site was pretty cool (very grassy) and his blog contains some cool Minecraft screenshots.  I was quite surprised to see an 8 year old playing that game (it’s kind of like a digital version of Legos). I commented on the first post, “My Spring Break”, which is shown in part in the screenshot. My comment was:

I love IKEA! The furniture there is cheap, but there’s some pretty cool stuff.

Keep blogging, it’s awesome that you have the ability to start creating an online identity so young. I’m only 22, but I never got the chance to create a blog as part of a class when I was in school.

Pretty simple and short, but I do think there are some cool pieces of furniture at IKEA.

VJ,s Blog – 8 years old, New Zealand

I wanted to look at a student’s blog that was outside of America, so this was one of the ones I found from New Zealand. One of the posts that caught my eye was “Purple Cake Day” and was about empowering impoverished kids and raise money for them in order to get a better education.  It gave me an interesting perspective on this section because we’re talking all about how our own education needs to be improved in relation to the internet, but we haven’t discussed nations whose students don’t even have access to that sort of technology.  My comment:

I think it’s awesome that students such as yourself have access to a class that teaches you how to create in an online environment.  Your post made me keep in mind though that there are kids out there that don’t even have access to a computer at school if they even have the ability to get a basic education.

I guess we have to appreciate what we have while also helping others.  Sounds like you had a good time at least!

Wanted to express some of my thoughts that I had while not getting too technical.  Sounds like the purple cakes were good at least.

Tristan’s Blog – 11 years old, Canada

I picked this blog because of how much more professional it was than most of what I had seen.  This student is also older, 11 vs 8. Commented on the first post, I thought it was great that this user was showing off some of the other students’ blogs that he found interesting. That’s a great level of social interaction that I hadn’t found at any other blog. My comment was:

Thanks for sharing these additional blogs!  I’ve been really impressed by what students have created.  Hope you’re having fun with blogging and creating on the internet!  Great to see the opportunity to learn blogging skills at an early age.

In retrospect I wish I would’ve added in about the social aspect of his post. I wrote this blog after commenting.

Summary

I’m so glad to see that students are getting the opportunity to explore the internet in a school setting.  It’s very heartening to know that at least some of the next generation is getting a chance to try out tools that they’ll probably be using for years to come.  The more tech-savvy kids get the more opportunities for discovery I see.

The internet is such an amazing canvas with unprecedented opportunity.  Whether it’s college students or elementary schoolers, I think it’s always a good idea to learn how to create a digital identity.  Overall this whole blogging challenge seems to be a big step in the right direction.

– Paul

 

 

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