Be Safe: Responsible Blogging
The most basic guideline to remember when blogging is that the blog is an extension of our classroom. You should not write anything on a blog that you would not say or write in your classroom. Use common sense, but if you are ever in doubt ask a teacher or parent whether or not what you are considering posting is appropriate.
- Since the use of this blog is considered an extension of our classroom, any speech that is considered inappropriate in the classroom is inappropriate on a blog. This includes, but is not limited to, profanity; racist, sexist or discriminatory remarks; personal attacks.
- Having the capability to share your ideas online is just an extension of our conversations and thinking outside of regular class time, or as the basis for beginning new classroom discussion. Either way, be sure to follow all rules and suggestions.
- Blogs are about ideas – therefore, agree or disagree with the idea, not the person. Freedom of speech does not give you the right to be uncivil. Use constructive criticism and use evidence to support your position. Read others’ posts carefully – often in the heat of the moment you may think that a person is saying one thing, when really they are not.
- Try not to generalize. Sentences that start with words like “All” (e.g., “All teachers,” “All administrators,” “All liberals,” “All conservatives”) are typically going to be too general.
- Blogs are public. Whatever you post on a blog can be read by anyone and everyone on the Internet. Even if you delete a post or comment, it has often already been archived elsewhere on the web. Do not post anything that you wouldn’t want your parents, your best friend, your worst enemy, or a future employer to read.
- Blog safely. NEVER post personal information on the web (including, but not limited to: personal details including address or phone numbers, or photographs). Do not, under any circumstances, agree to meet someone you have met over the Internet.
- We are using a open source blogging site (e.g., WordPress), be sure you have your parents permission before you start you own bl0g.
- Linking to web sites from your posted comments in support of your argument is an excellent idea. But never link to something without reading the entire article to make sure it is appropriate for a school setting.
- Use of quotations in a post is acceptable. Make sure that you follow the proper formatting and cite the source of the quote.
The following are some traits of successful bloggers:
- Their posts (or comments) are well written. This includes not only good content, but – because these are school-related blogs – also follows writing conventions including spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- Their posts (or comments) are responsive. They respond to other people’s ideas – whether it is a post by a teacher, a comment by a student, or an idea elsewhere on the Internet. The power of blogs is in their connectedness – they are connected to a larger community of ideas. Participate in that community.
- Their posts (or comments) include textual references to support their opinions. Adding quotes or links to other works strengthens their response.
- They participate frequently. To be part of the dialogue, you have to participate fully and consistently.
- They are respectful of others. It’s okay to disagree; it’s not okay to be disagreeable. Be respectful of others and their opinions, and be civil when you disagree.