I have now been blogging with students in grade 6/7/8 for a year and a half and this week one of my students in grade 6/7 asked me the following question.
Thanks for the comment Miss W.
Do you know who Sara is, who left a comment on my ….. work?
As I moderate all comments on blogs I administer (I use RSS feed on Google Reader to do this as I have about 200 student blogs), I checked out the person who had left her a comment. The blog was fairly new, and was about using pianos. I left a comment for the owner of the piano blog, asking how she found this student blog, so will see what happens when I get a reply. Tonight I emailed the student and said yes it would be OK to approve the comment.
Also this week, one of the grade 8 students received a comment:
Great Cartoon! It would be good if you could get it published especially for kids. Alot of us take our earth for granted. I’ve got this site: (name of site excluded) do you think your viewers may be interested?
Again I checked out this site, even though the student had already approved the comment. I though I might use it as an example of how students could verify the suitability of the site for their readers. It was suitable despite being a site for purchasing goods.
Most students in my school are used to only getting comments from me or perhaps some of their classmates. But next term, I would like to see a lot more of them take part in the international student blogging challenge that I will be organising with Sue Waters. They will then receive many more comments from students around the world so my job as co-administrator on all their blogs will be a bit more frantic.
How do you deal with comments from unknown people on your class or student blogs? What do you tell your students to do before they approve the comments? How do they learn to recognise a spam comment?