Reflecting and Responding Online

Thinking further about "connected learning", as they're calling it at the school where I work, I've come to the puzzle of feedback. In person, I try to respond to children's work in ways that move things forward. I'm always looking to encourage children continuing with ideas and going deeper. I've practiced and practiced listening to myself to see if my responses shut down inquiry or urge it on. I've learned to ask open ended questions, to not press my assumptions on children and to look for opportunities to guide children to think about their thinking and the learning strategies they used to do whatever it is they're showing me. I believe that people should own their own learning, so I've tried hard to follow Alfie Kohn's advice to stop framing reactions to children's work as praise. (See more here)
a piece of a provocation I sent out this week

Suddenly this week I realize that with all that families are dealing with, I'm just grateful that anyone is responding to the provocations I'm sending out at all! Suddenly I'm giving out hearts and 'wow!'s like mad. 
This puzzle isn't just about framing feedback, it also has to do with how to create longer term, sequential inquiry in an online format. So far everything is looking pretty short term, if not instant. All the years I spent trying to get away from make-and-take art projects, and here they are again!

It's kind of an exciting challenge, to figure out something in a completely new context. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this yet. I'd love to think with others about it. Is anybody out there?


  1. I want to hear more of your thoughts about what responses shut down inquiry and what responses can extend it or deepen the relationships to the work/people involved in the moment!


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