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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Should I let my students socialize on classroom blog?

Should I let my students socialize on classroom blog?

Related Tags: Classroom Technology
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6 Replies 1461 Views
Hey everyone! I'd really like to get your opinion on this. My students would like to use the classroom blog to "chat" with their friends. They know they have to be "respectful" on the site but like seeing who's on and posting messages. I'm trying to decide if this is OK. On one hand, I set up the blog so we could stay connected around the Identity project I'm doing - it's with my MG/Enrichment class and we only meet twice a week so I thought this would be a good way to stay connected and not loose momentum between meetings. On the other hand, I also want us to be a community and really gel as a group. Being able to use the site as a way to check in with each other could help with this sense of community. Also, being able to connect with one another does influence our identity - a focus on our project (how elements influence our identity). So, please weigh in with your thoughts! I'd really like to know what you think! Erika

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Gail Desler's picture
Gail Desler
Technology integration specialist for the Elk Grove USD (south Sacramento)
Facilitator 2014

Hi Erika,

I'm not sure how your students define 'chat' but as long as they understand that what they contribute to your blog also contributes to their digital footprints, I would definitely invite them to start posting comments (moderated by you).

I'm always looking for tips to help students become better commenters. Thought I'd share a recent find: 3rd grade teacher Linda Yollis' How to Comment. Both her commenting visual and her "2-Pointers" provide guidance for student commenters.

Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

[quote]Oops, Erika, here's the link to the How to Comment post - http://yollisclassblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-comment-on-our-blog.h...

Gail:

Thanks for the info! I do have my students post on our blog - in fact, they are required to respond to posts that I make. We've discussed appropriate posting - although, I didn't really go into as much depth regarding good writing, etc. as the link provided.

My students want to do more socializing on the blog (you know, "hey, what's up" kind of stuff) not just things related to the Identity project.

I've decided to talk with them about it and if they would really like to have a place for internet socializing, I'll either make another class blog for that or develop a way that can distinguish the project blogs from the social blogs.

I'll also incorporate some of the ideas about "proper" blogging that I saw on the link.

Thanks again!

Erika

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia
Facilitator 2014

Hi Erika,
Great question - I've been wrestling with that idea, too. I generally allow kids to 'socialise' on the blogs that I use in class - simply because I can see what they are up to there, whereas if I banned them from doing it they would just socialise somewhere else - like MSN or BEBO. At least this way, I can try to keep them safe while they do it.

Just my thoughts. I understand your concern about the learning blogs getting swamped by the socialising blogs.

Keith.

Gail Desler's picture
Gail Desler
Technology integration specialist for the Elk Grove USD (south Sacramento)
Facilitator 2014

Good point, Keith. Seems like creating a "lounge" area of a blog would be a good idea. If you're using a blogging program that includes "pages," maybe a Lounge tab, with comments enabled would do the trick?

Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

[quote]Good point, Keith. Seems like creating a "lounge" area of a blog would be a good idea. If you're using a blogging program that includes "pages," maybe a Lounge tab, with comments enabled would do the trick?[/quote]

I use Kidblog and was checking out the possibilities. I can create multiple classroom blogs. I was thinking of creating one for "socializing" so kids could chat their and not bog down the "academic" part.

Thanks, Keith, for the insight. And thanks, Gail, for the suggestion!

Erika

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