There’s been a lot of discussion in the course about whether standard blog platforms (Blogger, WordPress, etc.) could or should be used with students. Obviously age is a factor here; the older the student, the more freedom they can and perhaps should receive. And there is a logistical factor here, i.e. students having their own blogs means you need to keep track of all of those addresses and go to them individually, rather than having a dashboard that lists all of the student blogs. As I said earlier, I want to allow my students to use their own platform, but I’m not sure I want to do that from the outset; that’s something I’ll have to consider and discuss.

In any case, I had emailed our tech crew about the Campus subscription of edublogs, hoping perhaps to get that in place (which seems the best option if school is willing to pay). One of them (thanks, Bethann) emailed back with some tips that she used with a middle school language teacher whose class she set up on Blogger:

“1) I showed her kids how to remove the “Next Blog” link in the top navigation menu (actually, we removed the whole nav bar) so kids could not get to some random blog that may or may not be appropriate. This nav bar is there by default on all Blogger blogs.

2) Jada had every student add her as a contributor to their blog.  I’ve emailed her just now to check if she received an email when someone posted to their blog.

3) She had each student fill out a class Acceptable Use Police (made with a Google Form) to solidify classroom expectations.

The blogs are not password protected but Jada has the ability to view and edit all of them and could remove any offensive comments or postings.

Is this enough of a safeguard for our kids? It’s a great question.”

I include Bethann’s final question because it really sums up the argument / issue.

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