It’s now June 1, and that means the 31 day Comment Challenge (for May 08) is over.
Michele has set the final task as one of reflecting on the top 5 lessons those participating have learnt. While I wasn’t able to complete all tasks for the ‘challenge’ (there’s something to be said for the discipline of making some priority to do the tasks), I’ve been able to see the value of having a structured task/activity to encourage people to step out of their comfort zones and into their learning zones. It reminds me of the Learning 2.0 program (that originated at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County) and the ‘23 things’ activity as another great example of a learning initiative to get people actively engaged in experiencing a range of Internet and Web 2.0 applications. I’d definitely participate in something like this again.
What I’ve learnt (amongst other things) is that:
#1. There are a lot of great people blogging out there. Through the activities I’ve come across many new bloggers and I’ve subscribed to a number of new blog feeds that I hope will add value to my learning and help me in my role in supporting the use of technologies in higher education.
#2. I’ve got something to contribute through my blogging. I realise that have my own experience and perspectives to bring to the educational blogging community and that others may find these useful. So, through the last month I now feel confirmed, particularly that I’ve only been writing my ‘professional’ blog for two months!
#3. I can comment on what other people are writing. I’ve enjoyed being able to confirm ideas, suggest/provide other perspectives and help develop ideas and stories on other people‘s blogs. It’s still early days for me (as a blogger/commenter) but I’m now thinking more about what I might be able to share with others that could add value to what they do.
#4. Commenting can help build relationships and make stronger, deeper, authentic and lasting connections. The network building through this activity has been very valuable I look forward to it continuing as I meet more people online. I am looking to meeting some of these people face to face and will look for opportunities to do this.
#5. I’m very happy to have people comment on my blog. There’s a sense of engagement, support and validation when someone makes the effort to leave a comment. It’s even been fun to comment/reply back to the comments left on my blog – I’ve come to see this as an important aspect of being part of the blogosophere as it maintains and enhances the interactions.
…and just because I can – I think I’d like to add a sixth…
#6. That being involved in this activity has helped strengthen me as a blogger and developed my understanding of the possibilities of ‘the blog’ in education. I’m now much better situated to provide informed advice and recommendations on social media in my work context and elsewhere.
Finally, a huge personal thanks to those people who managed to make this happen; Sue Waters, Silvia Tolisano, Michele Martin and Kim Cofino (with sponsorship by coComment and Edublogs). I’ve really appreciated the time they’ve invested to guide us through this month of learning – they can be assured the investment has paid off!
Now I need to pay it forward – will you?