As a parent, many are concerned about their child using/being represented on a blog. In this post, Will Whitten has come up with questions from a concerned parents perspective. I act as a teacher in order to answer a few questions and concerns parents have about classroom blogging.
- What exactly is a blog?
A blog is as personal journal online that is updated frequently. It is a place where the world can view your thoughts, passions, experiences etc. Here is a great site for classroom blogs and its purpose. https://edublogs.org
2. Who is your classroom blog for?
Classroom blogs can be beneficial for teachers, parents and students. Teachers can use blogs to upload assignments and state students progress for the parents to check up on. Students will improve their writing and creativity skills while blogging. It can be a new, exciting and creative way for students to express their knowledge from the classroom and complete assignments while having their voices and opinions openly heard.
3. What are some things I might find on your blog?
You could expect to see weekly student progress updates or assignments from the teacher. Students may exhibit work and projects on their blogs, they can also simply blog about their progress in class or their opinions on certain matters covered in class/weekly prompts.
4. What about the privacy of my child? I don’t want strangers to be able to learn about them?
Blog sites have the option of making the blogs public, classroom- only or private. The teachers blog may be classroom-only, where only their students and parents can access it. Student blogs can be private allowing only teacher access or just for the authors personal use and view. A proper classroom blog should not name students, age or the school they are attending. If there are pictures of the students, they should not be direct images of a students face and their name would not be put with the photo.
5. Doesn’t my child get enough technology outside of school? I read an article that said they already get 1000 hours of technology outside of school.
Yes, many students use an exceedingly high amount of technology and yes too much technology is not good for our brains. There is a difference between classroom blogging online and the technology overdose that students experience outside of school. Social media (Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc.) and other uses of technology such as video games is not teaching our brains anything. Classroom blogging uses every part of the brain that writing the same material in a journal would. The only difference between online blogging and handwriting is the new, creative and easily accessible approach.
6. Shouldn’t you be teaching them about things that aren’t technology- like English and Math?
Blogging is a way for students to take what they have learned in all subject areas and expand on their knowledge. You can think about blogging as a substitute for class exit slips, in class journaling etc. Students still learn in all subject areas but classroom blogging can be a different way for students to respond to in class discussions and lessons.
7. I’ve heard of this Cassidy’s Class Blog or Youth Voices are these the only kinds of blogs there are?
Anyone can blog about basically anything whether it’s for personal blogging, your business, a professional journalist or for the classroom etc. As for classroom blogging, it is the teachers’ preference in what to include but there are three general types. The “Tutor Blog” where the educator blogs about curriculum, class assignments and more. The students can then comment on his/her blogs. Second is the “Class Blog” which is a shared space between teachers and students where students are encouraged to expand on topics. They have a bit more freedom to write, compared to the tutor blog. Last is the “Learner Blog”, students write openly and freely with teachers’ administration and guidance.