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Using Blogger - ideas and advice

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Started by Karen Spencer 24 Feb 2012 6:04pm () Replies (17)

Kia ora,

Just sharing a question that came through on the Wire from Annemarie Hyde - can you help:

"If you use Blogger for individual student blogs, can let me know how you manage the "safe content" aspect."

Can you help? Pop your answer in this thread, as well as any other questions you have about using Blogger with students.


  • Jane Armstrong Bos (View all users posts) 15 Mar 2012 1:55pm ()

    In a video, e-Portfolios in the classroom, Linda Sweeny, AP at Te Kura o Tiori Burnham School, explains the process they used with setting up and using Blogger as part of Google Apps.

    She says,"The nice part about the kids using the Google Applications part of our portfolios is that any assessment data is only shared with the child and their direct parents. So anything, anything on the blog is a work sample that the kids are happy to share with the world, anything that involves a level or a comment about the progress of a child that gets kept private."

    For a broader context, you can view this video from the e-Portfolios page on the Enabling e-Learning website.

  • Annemarie Hyde (View all users posts) 15 Mar 2012 1:57pm ()

    Thanks for that!  Looks like I definitely need to look at Google Apps for Education! 

  • Sean Lyons (View all users posts) 29 Feb 2012 3:18pm ()

    Great to see this discussion. From a request for advice on how to moniter student contect on Blogger, we branch quickly to the use of RSS feeds, google dashboards and values based use agreements. Thats alot of ground in 12 posts!

    I think this kind of discussion goes to the heart of the Digital Citizenship dialogue that many schools are currently engaged in. It's hard to be able to provide specific advice around specific applications (or litigate against them in policy) because of the rate at which the applications themselves change. From next big thing to unsupported GPU in a relatively short time frame.

    Digital citizenship education has to talk to the rights and responsibilities of being a member of this place we increasingly rely on. Not just as a passive observer in the old broadcast sense, but in a fully participatory sense.

    In my opinion, that means more than just pushing out the rules and then "trusting" what they do, but it also doesn't go as far as taking full control of "what" they contribute. If we are to effectively "teach" digital citizenship it has to be a carefully constructed combination of rules, contextual teaching, scaffolded trial and error, and effective modelling.

    I'm not sure if that [in any way] answers the questions here. NetSafe has developed its own thinking around Digital Citizenship, and encouraged others to do the same at www.mylgp.org.nz. You can find our definitions of the criteria for a succesful digital citizen here;


    and we'd encourage you to contribute your ideas there too.

  • sansam (View all users posts) 26 Feb 2012 10:41pm ()

    We have two digital classes who are trialling using individual blogs this year as e-portfolios.  We have Google Apps in school so all blogs come under our school domain making it legal for the children to have them.  Posts and comments are monitored by teachers through the "Teacher Dashboard"  designed by Hapara.  This costs approximately $4 per child, but is worth it's weight in gold as teachers instant access to all docs created and blog posts and comments. Children are only authors of the blogs, so if they want to "bling" their blogs they are signed in by teachers as a reward to do this.  This was an idea shared by Dorothy Burt and works fantastically.

  • Annemarie Hyde (View all users posts) 26 Feb 2012 11:20pm ()

    Good idea - I know they started with Blogger.  Bit worried about the money aspect....

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 26 Feb 2012 10:09pm ()

    Definitely teach digital citizenship and ethics but also monitor what they are posting.

    I would start with something from Andrew Churches.


    With Blogger I would have an RSS feed to work that students post- if teachers aren't prepared to monitor what their students are doing then they shouldn't be doing it.

    Does that sound harsh? 

    Similarly a principal needs to have an RSS feed to the class blogs so that they know what is being posted in the name of the school.

  • Michael Fawcett (View all users posts) 24 Feb 2012 9:49pm ()

    Depends what you mean by safe content?  I know when I was using Blogger I was always wary of the next blog button because you never knew where it was going to take you.  I think Allanah has a blogpost showing how to remove "next blog", but I'm not sure if it works with the shiny new Blogger?  Allanah?

  • Steven Wills (View all users posts) 25 Feb 2012 9:19am ()

    The code still works. I tried it the other day.  

  • Annemarie Hyde (View all users posts) 26 Feb 2012 8:09pm ()

    By safe content, I mean monitoring what students post.  On Classblogmeister, the teacher approves each post because s/he maintains control over individual student blogs.  The "next blog" aspect is relevant too.

    My principal started the discussion when I suggested I wanted to promote the use of  Blogger so that the students owned the blogs when they left us; I'd also had some problems with student work not being approved (not because of content - just because teacher hadn't done it) by teachers, so not being published

    Our student use policy states:

    "Students are responsible for good behaviour on the Internet or School Intranet just as they are in a classroom.  General school rules for behaviour and communications apply. Individual users of the Internet are responsible for their behaviour and communications over the network. 

    The Internet is provided for students to conduct research and communicate with others.  Access to the Internet is given to students who agree to act in a considerate and responsible manner.  Students and their parents/caregivers will have signed a ‘School Information Technology User Agreement and Parent Permission Form’ and this is to be honoured.

    Beyond the clarification of such standards, the school is not responsible for restricting, monitoring or controlling the communications of individuals using the network.  The school takes reasonable steps to restrict student access to inappropriate sites but each individual student is responsible for accessing only appropriate sites for research for classroom learning....

    ...The following are not permitted: sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures, using obscene language, harassing, insulting or attacking others..."

    Is this enough?  Do we teach digital citizenship and trust that our students don't abuse our trust?

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e-Learning: Technologies

e-Learning: Technologies

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