Rules and Guidelines for my Class Blog

As I previously blogged about, I am about the embark on setting up a class blog for the third time.

Before you set up your class blog, it’s really important to think about what rules and guidelines you will put into place and make sure the students and parents are clear about these. Blogging provides an authentic opportunity to teach children about appropriate online behaviour and this aspect of blogging cannot be overlooked.

I have a page at the top of my class blog where my blogging rules and guidelines are listed. This ensures the information remains static and easily accessible all year.

2km blog guidelines

These are the blogging rules and I guidelines I will establish in 2010…

blogging-guidelines 2KM 2010

*Note: do not directly copy other people’s work including blogging guidelines without attribution.

I discuss these rules and guidelines regularly with the students and include them on the blogging information/permission note that I send home to parents.

Previously I elected not to have the 2KM Blog included in search engines such as Google. Over the past two years, I have found one of the most powerful aspects of blogging to be the global audience and connections we make with others. I believe having our blog included in search engines can only enhance these connections and provide more benefits to the students.

*Leave a comment if you have any thoughts about blogging rules and guidelines *

14 Replies to “Rules and Guidelines for my Class Blog”

  1. I think that these guidelines are quite good and I’m glad that you make them explicit to your students. I hide classroom blogs from search engines, but talk about them in smaller communities to try to get a limited amount of global reach. I’m curious, which method of student publishing do you use? Do you allow students to create posts themselves or do you create the post and allow students to comment? I use the latter.

    1. @Christopher – thanks for the comment. To begin with, I create all the posts and allow students to comment. We then move on to writing posts “together” (heavily directed by me) on the IWB. When the kids become really familiar with this, I have selected students write posts which I check before publishing. Certainly, not all Grade Two students are capable of writing posts themselves though! The control freak part of me would love to just write all the posts and have students comment however I don’t feel they don’t reap all the benefits of blogging if they don’t have some involvement in the writing process.

  2. Currently our student blogs are done through the school website and are only accessible to students and parents using a password, but I really do believe what you say about needing a global audience. The trouble is that I think our school administration just isn’t ready to make that step yet. We have a website where student work is posted and one class has wiki pages (also private) and we use VoiceThread though don’t identify our students. Thanks for your post – very useful.

    1. @Maggie, I have had a similar discussion with colleagues in the last couple of days! Our state of Victoria is introducing an “Ultranet” – basically a one stop shop for lessons, data, collaboration etc. The Ultranet has the facility to create blogs however these blogs would only be able to be seen by class members and parents. I really have a problem with this because I have seen how fantastic global collaboration can be.
      It is a shame that your school is reluctant to embark on public blogs. I would argue that public blogs provide the perfect opportunity to eduction students about appropriate online behaviour so while your school thinks they are protecting the students, it would be more beneficial to give them the skills to protect themselves. After all, their online work and interactions aren’t going to be kept private for the rest of their lives.
      But I know I’m preaching to the converted! I really hope you can help make a change in your school 🙂

  3. Thanks for the latest blog posts, I’m looking forward to embarking on another class blog this year with my Grade 2s and plan to include more variation with my posts, rather than just text and photos/picture slideshows. I’ll be checking out your blog for tips on how to make my blog more interesting, how to get the students involved and how to create a global audience!

    1. Thanks Kelly – I look forward to assisting you with your venture!

  4. Good tips. I am often asked about things like this by teachers considering using blogs in their classes.

  5. I made the same changes to my guidelines this year. The students love having their photos, as long as there is no identifying information in the photo and parents give permission, I am allowing on our student blogs this year. Your rules and guidlines are very precise, easy to remember and therefore follow.

  6. @Thomas – glad it helped.

    @Kelly – good to know I’m on the right track with the guidelines! I think when I first started the rule of not showing students faces I didn’t think it through properly. After all, we need to teach students appropriate online behaviour rather than ban things and protect them too much. Thanks!

  7. […] Blogging rules for safety […]

  8. Dear Kathleen,

    I read this post on safe blogging in schools with interest. I think it is a good idea to have ‘the rules’ as a static page as this shows parents that the teacher prioritizes safety.

    I have been blogging a year my own ‘rule of thumb’ would not to include photographs of the students. I feel this is a pity but is for the best at this present time.

    This would limit for example my use of video of classroom activities as I think it would be impossible not to be able to identify the students as a result.

    But I have had great fun taking photos of the children where they can’t be identified e.g. wearing masks they made. As it stands it is just the children’s own art and written work that represents them on the blog and that builds their self esteem.

    Thanks again for your informative posts which are very helpful.

    Merry Beau

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      Hi Merry,

      Thanks for your comment. I encourage everyone to chose the rules that suits them, their schools and their community. I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you.

      I’m sure your students are getting a lot out of blogging.

      Good luck,

  9. Hey Kathleen, I read this blog in awe. I have an interest in getting my students globally aware and expose to appropriate online behavior. I have a limited idea too how to get this started and how to sell the idea to my school. Could you provide some simple instructions on how I could start a school blog for my students? How could I monitor its usages? And how could I incorporate on a micro level if my district does not approve of global blogging?
    I appreciate all your advice. You are doing a good job. Keep up the good work.

    1. Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      Hi there,
      Thanks for your kind words. I think this page should have all the answers you’re looking for.

      I’ve only used Edublogs with my students. It’s based on WordPress (as you might know, WordPress is behind over a third of all sites online so it’s a great platform for students to learn). The benefit of Edublogs is the various settings that make it easy to customise and monitor. For example, you can moderate all posts and comments. You can also have your blog password protected. Of course a public blog offers more benefits but you can also set it to not show up in Google search results which might make your district happy.

      Check out this guide to Global Collaboration too. There are lots of options

      Good luck!

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