I just started following Edudemic on Twitter, and this is an interesting topic. I think it is also an example of excellent vs. poor online etiquette. I’m wondering if others would agree.
I feel that in the comments on the blog there was one particularly interesting, polite and insightful comment by “koloradokyd” asking us to consider the differences in objectives behind two projects mentioned in the article. Another commentor simply denounced the whole thing as a “waste of time” and “self-serving” with nothing to back up such a strong opinion. I just find it so interesting. What was behind that comment? Pressure from a school district to change their teaching? Bad experiences with PBL? A bad day? Why so derisive?
Then again, no one has made me the blogging police.
It has me thinking, however, about the commenting guidelines I gave my students last year on our blog. Our simple mantra was, “Complement or Connection.” Students could share a complement or positive feedback about the work, or they could talk about a personal connection to the work. I still think this is a good framework for fourth graders, but is it too limiting? We wanted to encourage specific comments, constructive comments and avoid negative or nit picky comments like “you forgot a period,” etc. Are there other types of valuable reactions and responses that this automatically eliminates? Perhaps, we need to add in fifth grade, “agree/disagree,” and talk about the polite, constructive ways we can express opinions.