Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Safe Blogging

I've written before about how scary it is for me to view some elementary school student blogs. David Warlick writes in his blog today about the keynote address to the NCAECT conference delivered by Will Richardson. In his discussion about how students learn from the blogging they do and the comments reflected back to them by their readers, David reports:
Kids understand this in a personal way. They do not understand it as a life-long learning skill. It’s a personal living skill. MySpace is where they go to learn, and it is not going away. Will pulls up a MySpace account maintained by a young woman, and it is very much a glamor site — highly suggestive images. Will compellingly makes the case that this young woman has put an enormous amount of time into maintaining her site. Several educators are murmuring about the dangers and how she is making inapproproate use of her site. I want to say, “She’s expressing herself exactly the way that our culture has taught her to express herself.” Just watch TV!
Although this may help to explain why children blog on sites such as Piczo the way they do, it remains important for us as educators who work with students and encourage them to use the blog as a communications device to teach them the skills necessary to do this in a socially acceptable manner.

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