15th Day

The Fantastic Commenter Award 2008
I would like to offer this Fantastic Commenter Award, invented by Scott MacLeod, to my fellow-blogger Kevin, also known as dogtrax for the way he is building Community through his commenting activity.
 I’ve always  enjoyed reading his comments, written with humor and warm affection, untiringly visiting his fellow bloggers to greet them and reflect with them in a cheerful and inspiring way.
He has been a faithful visitor and a prolific commenter all over the Challenge sphere, so far as I could notice through my own readings.
It was thanks to him that I discovered we should sign our comments with our first names and thus started my readings about on-line identity that lead me to take new decisions about this subject.
For all this, thanks, Kevin.
I daren’t offer any award to Sue and Michele who seem to be commenting everywhere at all times, as if they were the fairies of this network. Once they have conceived, organized and put this Challenge into action, I presume they would be more happy if we offer our awards to the other participants, thus continuing their effort to build community, turning to others, sharing and appreciating our fellow-bloggers.
However, I think they deserve a special kind of Award for the splendid way they are supporting and inspiring the whole Challenge; thus I would like to say, specially today, how deeply I appreciate their outstanding work and admire their generous effort.
Ines Pinto

14th Day

A Post for Comments
     Today, I came back home and discovered that Internet was down; it did never happen before: I immediately called for help and I’ve been told that it was a serious shut down, it would take some time to be fixed and that I should wait from 3 up to 7 days.
     I felt a bit lost, wondering how come would I catch the Comment Challenge…and began to  create some “paintings” with Photophiltre for future activities with my students. Happily, about two hours later, I discovered, trough Photo philtre, that Internet was on again.
     I thought  that I could, at least, use Internet at School, but right now, on my Twitter network, someone is complaining to be without internet at School for the third day now.
     I wonder how veterans would deal with the situation if they should wait from 3 to 7 days, both in School and at home?

13th Day

A Blog Post Inspired in Comments
It is just a shame that I must choose among so many interesting conversations developed in comments these last 12 days. I’m following them not so much as a lurker – not any more – because I feel as if I was invited and present in a friendly group, though not obliged to talk, as I come late in the evening and it gets harder to dwell with foreign words or just to concentrate.
Almost all of those comments would easily be the inspiring source for a post -how can I choose?
I’ll pick, randomly, a reflexive conversation generated both retrospectively and prospectively from a post at The Eddublogger about the value of using and developing our own identity as blogging teachers.
This splendid post, besides including a step by step explanation on how to change our display name and setting up our comment avatar, also raises the question about the reasons of our choices concerning on-line identity, thus generating a warm conversation of cross comments leading us to the past -“Vicki Davis’s advice to educators on the value of using their own identity (take the time to read the comments also)” – and to the future – Kimberley’s “What’s in a name? and its comments.
I notice that good past conversations, as good past posts, remain “alive” and maintain the inner energy to generate new comments and unfold conversations. They keep their original quality of challenging something in our thought patterns”
It seems to be something ethical about the question of on-line identity: for Michelle Martin it’s an unavoidable requisite to be authentic both as a person as a professional, thus assuming on the face of the world one’s words and deeds; “if you can’t stand behind your words, are they worth sharing?”as commenter Robb says.
Sue Waters, while defending the advantages of offering to others the reliability and the seriousness that a real name evokes, not only distinguishes the situation of students from that of adults dealing on-line, but also leaves up to each person the free decision to expose his real name, thus unifying the inner sense of self: “…you can only be one identity on line…”
Miss W. – as I know her – just with a simple and genuine argument conquered me: ” They (her students) don’t use their real names and they have an avatar, therefore so do I.”
I love this “therefore so do I”; for the moment, my students are my reason and my pretext for being on- line; on the School site and on the Moodle platform we all keep our real names; as soon as we go out to the “web-sea” we wear our made-up usernames. Mine is made with the initials of both my first and last real names: Ines and Pinto. I think I must sign my comments with, at least, my real first name; and I find that edublog’s is a friendly environment, where I can change my avatar for a photo, thus becoming more real to my fellow-bloggers and opening more authentically to them.
As for the user name, I’ll keep it for a while: it’s part of my identity too; I’ve chosen it, it was not imposed upon me, as my real name; it’s made of the real initials, it’s not so far from reality, I may easily explain it and show my name through it; for the moment, it is a mark of my condition of being “a digital migrant”, not entirely at home yet, in this new kingdom; it is also a way to keep by my young students as they are not allowed to walk “unveiled” yet. (Only today I’ve realized that a text from a student, duly signed, had been pinged at Technorati: I’m not supposed to publish their texts until June…)
I’m impressed by the title of Kimberly’s post: “What’s in a name?”
It keeps swirling on my head – there would be so much to say about this…
Although I’m late in accomplishing my challenge duties, I keep learning and enjoying comment08.
Ines Pinto