The discussion about keeping blogs open and teaching students to use the internet safely is a vital one. This post about Why I Think Blogs Should Be Open will provide some discussion about why it is better to have an open door policy when it comes to blogging in schools.
This school blog is an example of the work that can be done when you fearlessly apply technology in the classroom.
Hi Heather, I am a full supporter of keeping blogs open. In fact, all that I do in my class is open – all blogs, wikis, voicethreads, wallwishers etc. By doing so, I have had to teach cyber safety constantly (and this is almost a daily/weekly session as we all need constant reminding of this). However, by keeping our blogs open, students have an authentic audience, have collected many dots on their clustrmaps, gained some wonderful comments and feedback, been highly motivated to write well and present an attractive blog etc. One real success story has been that of edw.ooo2.globalstudent.org.au/2009/10/11what-makes-a-good-teacher/ In this post, Rachael added a link to her text movie that she had made on “what makes a good teacher”. She tagged it with those exact words and ended up getting a comment from a professor at a university in the USA stating that she was going to show her teacher education students, Rachael’s post so that they could see what a young student liked. (At this stage the comments have disappeared with the reformatting of edublogs, so will need to try and help her display them again.) How motivating and valuable is that for young students!
The idea that blogs should not be open is suffocating. We have been successfully blogging now, for over 3 years. We have travelled far on our blogging journey since we began. We have learnt much about cyber safety, digital citizenship, how to write a “good” blog post, what makes a “good” blog, blogging etiquette, leaving valid and informative comments, how to make global friends, where in the world – lots of places are as well as flattening our classroom walls and expanding our tiny, rural horizon. Please, please, please, do NOT try and smother this creativity, authenticity, collaboration and deep thinking by closing our blogs to the outside world. Cyberspace is not a scary place. Don’t clip our wings – allow us to continue to fly. Keep our blogs open to the enriching wonderland of cyberspace.
Hi Heather and readers,
Thanks again for giving me the blogging bug – I have grown as a teacher and set my students on a life-long learning journey as well. Writing for an authentic audience and celebrating your learning achievements on your blog is a great motivator for students. The thrill of getting comments from other countries encourages students to think about their writing with a different perspective and makes spelling and grammar all the more important.
I believe our students have access to very powerful tools and with that privilege comes the responsibility of sharing the learning that results. Very few students in the world have such complex technology at their fingertips, and just as we learn from those that have gone before us, we need to support others to improve their learning. Globalstudent has provided an outstanding platform to launch students on their cyber-journeys and it’s success is based on the global audience that it allows. Students need to learn the skills for cyber-safety and global student has proven to be an excellent way to achieve this goal.
This excellent blog is another demonstration of how important a global audience is when we aim to improve teaching and learning: “It’s all about sharing and collaborating” says Langwitch at http://langwitches.org/blog/2010/08/20/its-all-about-sharing-collaboration/.
http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/1066 Heather I found this blog post which I thought you might be interested in reading. It is relevant to your post about Open Access which is written by a couple of highly regarded educators.