Monday, September 7, 2009

Student Blogging Guidelines

Many schools in this 21st Century are adding blogging to the writing experiences of their students. It can be an experience that makes students more aware of the global connectedness of the world in this day and age and provide an outlet for their writing spirit. It makes a purpose to their writing, a reason to write so others can understand what you are saying, a reason to use correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar, etc., not just another assignment.

Student Blogging Guidelines by Kim Cofino at Always Learning reminds us of several items to think about before opening up our children to this opportunity on the web. Her school developed these for 3, 4, 5th graders last year and has now posted them for K-12 students as well. They are well worth perusing.
Student Blogging Guidelines
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.
Even adult bloggers can learn some hints for themselves about how to act when blogging online.

Blogwalker also has some timely Tips for New Bloggers that you also might want to check here.

If you do have a class of bloggers just starting or continuing to develop their blogging skills, please check out this Blogging Challenge by Sue Wyatt. It may be too late to join, but it can still be an excellent opportunity to learn how to comment on someone else’s blog – an important skill.

A teacher might not send her students to this following site because it is more written for adult media consultant bloggers, but the tips included here at  7 Habits of Highly Effective Blogs can be adapted to use for students as well.

I just posted comments to a class of 1st grade bloggers and 5th grade bloggers. The 1st grade bloggers posts were edited by the teacher, as many would not yet be readable, but I can hardly wait for the year to progress to see how the students are learning to write. There will be amazing differences, especially in the 1st grade blogs!

Do you have your own personal blog?

Do you have a professional blog for education?

Do you encourage your students to blog, even if they are in 1st grade?

Do you need someone to read those blogs?

Ask your twitter community. That is how I found out.

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