What he is suggesting ( I think) is that if we are going to allow or encourage or even require our students at school to BLOG. are we facilitating the possibility of our kids to be:
- vulnerable to predators and other dangerous people ?
- flippant and careless about the standard of work or writing that they publish?
- more vulnerable to being cyber bullied ?
- more likely to participate in cyber bullying themselves?
- a participant in unsavoury, dangerous, inappropriate discussions ?
There are a couple of things that we could consider immediately to ensure that our students are safer.
- we could ensure that their blogs are not public (a setting that is available on Blogger.com
but then an important part of the whole reason behind blogs is gone-that is the opportunity for other students to see their work
- we could make sure that we regularly check their blogs-a fairly big job but not impossible as the scheduled time for blogging is in class time
- we could link all the blogs to one blog so that we can all easily access everyone's blog and simply - we are doing that already-see http://we-are-redbacks-.blogger.com
- we could house all the blogs on our internal server so that the blogs can be shared across our school community but no-one else will access them- this is available to us and is something that we may do very shortly after some more discussion and debate
- we could simply say that blogs are not appropriate because of all these issues and that students will do their reflections on other online journals within our intranet- certainly possible but currently the software we have doesn't allow the flexibility of expression that blogger.com does
- we could create a class blog-one blog rather than many and students contribute posts to that - but again, these students are Years 7&8. I think part of the beauty of blogs is the individuality and ease of use for each individual student
and I haven't even considered the other issue of quality of posting-how do we get kids to write for their audience and to write high quality work-after all this is being published. That is another blog and I will think about it some more.