One of the hurdles in establishing student blogs is a set of guidelines governing how they blog. A lot of what I’ve written about thus far concerns the tension between freedom and oversight. It occurs to me that a well written and clear set of guidelines (a bit like what Bethann referenced in the email I mentioned a few posts ago) might mitigate that tension, i.e. am I willing to give them more freedom from the outset if they sign a set of guidelines that details what is expected of them? I suspect I am. So here are some specifics from the resources that Nancy provided. I will likely adapt these to my own.

Student Blogging Guidelines [from]

As a student blogger at ISB, you are expected to follow these blogging guidelines below. Use the questions in italics to help you decide what is appropriate to post on your blog.

1. Only post things that you would want everyone (in school, at home, in other countries) to know.
Ask yourself: Is this something I want everyone to see?

2. Do not share personal information.
Ask yourself: Could someone find me (in real life) based on this information?

3. Think before you post.
Ask yourself: What could be the consequences of this post?

4. Know who you’re communicating with.
Ask yourself: Who is going to look at this, and how are they going to interpret my words?

5. Consider your audience and that you’re representing ISB.
Ask yourself: Do I have a good reason/purpose to do this?

6. Know how to give constructive feedback.
Ask yourself: What will I cause by writing this post?

7. Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
Ask yourself: Would I want someone to say this to me?

8. Use appropriate language and proper grammar and spelling.
Ask yourself: Would I want this post to be graded for proper grammar and spelling?

9. Only post information that you can verify is true (no gossiping).
Ask yourself: Is this inappropriate, immature or bullying?

10. Anytime you use media from another source, be sure to properly cite the creator of the original work.
Ask yourself: Who is the original creator of this work?

Commenting Guidelines

As a blogger, you will be commenting on other people’s work regularly. Good comments:

  • are constructive, but not hurtful;
  • consider the author and the purpose of the post;
  • are always related to the content of the post;
  • include personal connections to what the author wrote;
  • answer a question, or add meaningful information to the content topic;
  • follow the writing process. Comments are a published piece of writing.

These are the guidelines to a biology blog; they are simple and concise, and a rubric is included below.

Here is a graphic with some both concise and well-presented thoughts on posting (from a Slideshare by Jaqui Sharp:, via Nancy’s resources):


This graphic included in this PowerPoint from the New South Wales (Australia) Digital Citizenship site (though it’s unclear where the PowerPoint is on the site) does a good job I think of summarizing the idea of scope of digital citizenship (it was an animated slide, so I screencast it and uploaded it to YouTube under the site’s Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license):



Though there is too much to go through here, this is a good meta-site with links to not only various resources on digital citizenship but also the different categories / areas of digital citizenship.

And this is a step-by-step guide to setting up a class blog (though a bit too general).