Bill MacKenty

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How do I use blogs in my classroom: securing a blogger blog.

Posted in Blogging Educational Tech on 07 - March 2006 at 08:11 PM (18 years ago). 261 views.

After responding to a friendly email question about blogging in the classroom, I found another question in my inbox…

I have some serious gaps in my understanding when it comes to security with blogs.  I realize your latest e-mail said you would be addressing security at a later date, but could you touch upon some of these important issues for me?


I have to say Bill, I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw MySpace listed as a recommended blog for use by an educator.

Myspace is inappropriate for school use.  Not because of some weird thing with myspace, but because of the current educational political climate…it’s to hot to handle right now. Fortunately, there are plenty of other choices for us to use.

If I were to use MySpace in my classroom and an administrator were to walk in - I would lose my job that day.

eek. Make sure you speak with your administrator about this before you start!  I think a list of everything you have done to secure the blog is helpful. Make sure you are very clear about the “this is a school blog”.

Here are three short movies for you to look at.  They both deal with basic security using blogger. The volume on the last one is really low because I had a group of kindergardeners in my room.

Securing a blog, part 1 (4.1 MB Quicktime movie)
Securing a blog, part 2 (3.6 MB Quicktime movie)
Securing a blog, part 3 (6.4 MB Quicktime movie)

I need to know how am I going to protect students from inappropriate material on a given blog?  Are there “G-Rated”  Blogs I can use?

No.  The success or failure of using blogs in education hinges on how well we structure the instruction. If you don’t monitor and closely supervise what your kids are writing, you could be in trouble. 

That being said, I blogged with almost 50 kids, and I only had one incident which was a little weird.

As James Farmer says in this great post:

You must incorporate blogs as key, task driven, elements of your course - This may sound obvious but simply providing blogs to learners and saying “Hey, use them however you want” is an absolute guarantee of failure as all but 1 or 2 people will take you up on it.

How am I going to evaluate the entries of my students?

Make a rubric. Keep in mind, they will be very excited about blogging, but you are going to have to be very clear about your instructional goals. Make sure the kids know:

1) This is what good work looks like
2) This is what minimal effort work looks like

I also suggest you do some testing. Make sure everyone knows how to post on a blog, and then