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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.

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  • 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?

  • Annemarie Hyde (View all users posts) 26 Feb 2012 11:07pm ()

    Thanks P{aula.  I too have extensive experience of Classblogmeister and it is exactly those glitches which made me look else where; I don't want the technical hitches to put off less confident teachers. 

    I looked at the different platforms and decided that Blogger had the most potential.  Years ago Rocky introduced me to blogs with Blogger and I used it for my class blog for a year.

    The benefit of Classblogmeister is that teacher control over individual blogs. One alternative is that there is just one blog that students post to...but that seems like a backward step.

  • 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....

  • Annemarie Hyde (View all users posts) 12 Mar 2012 12:13am ()

    I agree that Class Blogmeister ticks lots of boxes. I used it for several years with Lorraine's expertise and selfless assistance. It worked for me.  I'm also someone who sits up till all hours nutting out a problem and getting a kick out of doing that. Lorraine will agree that we still didn't get everyone buying in even though its use was mandated in that school.

    I now work with other teachers in another school, who just want things to work - don't we all? Allanah suggests above, that if teachers aren't prepared to monitor blogs then they shouldn't be working with them.  Yes and no.  If they are hesitant to engage with web 2.0 tools (read: computers) then their children miss out.  How do I as a facilitaor, encourage them to get involved? With the most simple option I can find.

    Mark Treadwell suggested a few years ago, that if a tool doesn't work for us, it's not our lack of expertise but the fault of the design of the tool; it has to become more simple. Look at the design of most TV remotes!

    While there is indeed support for Classblogmeister - and I go to Lorraine first (thank you my dear!)- I am keen to see what else there is and how it matches up. I also agree with Paula that sometimes I got no reply from David and had to look elsewhere.  I'm very pleased that the list serv support has grown.

    Jill Hammonds worked in our school last year, and suggested Posterous.  I haven't seen it in use and wonder about its security.  Dorothy Burt used Blogger and now Google Apps for Education.  One of our cluster schools uses Edublogger.

    I'm curious to see how these shape up.  I agree.  It's not the allure of the etool - it is the need of the learner.  And some of the learners I'm looking at are the teachers I work with.

     

  • Annemarie Hyde (View all users posts) 12 Mar 2012 8:25am ()

    Absolutely!

    Now we need a tool that teachers are happy to use so that the whole process works for everyone and ticks all the boxes!

  • 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! 

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