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Scenario A: Elementary Language Arts Blog


Your fourth grade class has been blogging for about two months now. They have shared several writing projects on their class blogs, including revisions of some short stories with illustrations. To protect your students’ identities, all students use only their first name and first letter of their last names (e.g., Kayla F., Joseph R.)

Your students have commented on each others blogs, and a few parents and other teachers have added comments as well. Your students have become accustomed to this feedback from your internal audience.

Today, one of your students, Aaron, asked you about a comment on his blog. Someone complimented him on his story but Aaron doesn’t recognize the name. You review the comment and the link provided, and it appears to be someone from Canada doing educational research. Aaron asks what he should do next.

Teacher Response

As teachers, Our group would pull Aaron aside and talk to him about safety when blogging to a public audience. We would review Blogging Rules with Aaron using Blogging Rules Poster. This would be a review, as this would have been the first lesson we went over before starting the blogging project. Using this poster, we would make changes to the blogging project. These changes are listed under "safety" seen below.

We would then make sure that we spoke to Aaron's parents about the comment made on his blog. We would do this so that the information is coming from us (his teachers) on what happened first. That way the parents don't hear about it from Aaron and come asking us what happened and maybe feeling a little worried about it. We would also go over the blogging rules poster with the parents and see if they had any questions on our safety rules and the changes we made to our blogging project.

The last step with this scenario would be to go over the safety rules (using our poster) again with the entire class. We would discuss any changes we made to the project and why we made these changes. We would ask the students if they have any questions about what happened with Aaron's blog and the unknown author and we would assure them that we will be carefully monitoring their work, just as they can now do too, because they have learned more about the safety of blogging.

Sample Response

"Aaron, thank you for letting my know about this comment left on your blog. I hope you remember the 10 blog rules to internet safety that we talked about at the beginning of this project. You did the right thing by telling an adult about a message from someone you do not know. We will use this as a learning experience and review our blogging rules poster as a whole class again."

Safety

  1. First name only - not your last name.
  2. Do NOT share personal information about you or your school.
  3. Do NOT type email addresses or IM screen names.
  4. Do NOT type home addresses or phone numbers.
  5. Do NOT link your personal blog or school blog, which might reveal information you don't want shared.

Quality Work

  1. Think about who might be reading your blog entry, and make sure you are polite.
  2. Make sure your blog entry stays on topic.
  3. Always make sure that you:
    1. Check your spelling
    2. Check your spacing
    3. Check your capitalization
    4. Check your punctuation
    5. Check your grammar and use of words
    6. Be respectful of others' ideas