Safe Blogging – Issues with Comments?

Came across a great teaching blog last week: Random Thoughts by Nancy McKeand.

She has a great argument about why we should be teaching student how to blog safely as opposed to banning blogs in schools and thus ignoring the fact that many students are blogging on their own.

She also brings up an issue that I had neglected to give much thought to, and have therefore not yet discussed with my students – how do we deal with inappropriate comments on student blogs? She points to Anne Davis’ post on how she deals with this in her class. Anne and her students decided that:

  1. We would not respond to the irresponsible commenters. We would ignore them.
  2. The student would report any inappropriate comments to the teacher.
  3. The teachers would delete inappropriate comments, if they found them first but would discuss the matter with the owner of the blog and with the group, if appropriate.
  4. We agreed that it was unfortunate that the commenter had not used common sense and we would try to set good examples on our blogs.

This seems like a pretty good policy, and I’ll submit it to my students in class this week. Does anyone have anything to add or change to it?

I’m going to start reflecting and linking to my students’ blogs this week, and while I am 99% confident there won’t be any negative issues to deal with because of this, I am thankful to Nancy and Anne for bringing this to mind beforehand.

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