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Dear Otto: What Are Good Guidelines for Younger Bloggers?

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Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

As we roll into a new year, recommitting to goals of improved writing and collaborating on learning, here’s a great question I got from Chaya:

I’d like to help my teachers start class blogs, but would love some kind of document on policies such as what to post/not to post, what needs passwords, etc. I’d like to get the student work out there while continuing to protect their safety and privacy.

Thanks!

I spent some time digging into what most people are using. Turns out, there’s a list that seems pretty good adapted from Academy of Discovery wiki wiki. Everywhere I checked, this is the list I got (often, personalized to the school’s unique situation):

  1. I will not give out any information more personal than my first name

    blogging children

    Credit: Jim Borgman at the Cincinnati Enquirer

  2.  I will not plagiarize; instead I will expand on others’ ideas and give credit where it is due.
  3. I will use language appropriate for school.
  4. I will always respect my fellow students and their writing.
  5. I will only post pieces that I am comfortable with everyone seeing.
  6. I will use constructive/productive/purposeful criticism, supporting any idea, comment, or critique I have with evidence.
  7. I will take blogging seriously, posting only comments and ideas that are meaningful and that contribute to the overall conversation.
  8. I will take my time when I write, using formal language (not text lingo), and I will try to spell everything correctly.
  9. I will not bully others in my blog posts or in my comments.
  10. I will only post comments on posts that I have fully read, rather than just skimmed.
  11. I will not reveal anyone else’s identity in my comments or posts.

 

Any infraction of the Fifth Grade Blogging Rules may result in loss of blogging privileges and an alternative assignment will be required.

Student Signature __________________________________ Date _____

Some schools add a parent signature. I’ll be using a version of this with my fifth grade Kidbloggers.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth grade, creator of two technology training books for middle school and five ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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