Monday, August 17, 2009

Students using Blogs

Based on no actual expereince in the classroom, and currently no access to them, I am going to give a synopsis of how I would use Blogs in a classroom.
Each day, I would organise a group activity that the class would tackle together. It could be a discussion about a current news item, or a task that they were required to do some simple research on and collabrate with each other. At the end of each day, students would be asked to post reflections about the particular task to their individual Blogs. Once a week, time would be allocated for students to, through their RSS aggregators/readers, view other students blog postings and post academic opinions/replies to their peers postings. This gives students the opportunity to understand how differently individuals may interpret information.
To ensure that these Blogs are not used for Cyber bullying, they would, of course, be monitored by myself ( their teacher) using an RSS aggregator. At the beginning of the term students would be given information on lawful and ethical use of these ICT's and also informed about Netiquette. Students would be made aware that, should they break any of these rules by posting unlawful or unethical comments to thier own or their peers Blogs, they would be asked to explain their actions to avoid instant failure. Any bullying that is discovered would result in instant failure of the course.
In one of my peers blogs, it was stated that their teaching community had decided not to use blogs as it may result in opening the students up to bullying. I disagree with this action. It seems to me that there may be a lack of understanding of these ICT's on the teachers part, and therefore they chose not to use them. This is detrimental to their students education. Throughout the learning journey within this course, I have found more and more evidence that the teaching community today needs to have a little more faith in our students. Yes, students can be cruel and bully their peers. But this happens in all types of environments. It happens on the oval at lunch time, but you don't see teachers banning the oval? Banning the source of the problem does not fix it, it simply ignores it. In my opinion the benefits of using the technologies positively outweigh the disadvantages. The only way to approach cyber bullying, or any other issues that arise with the use of ICT's, is to properly educate our students about the repocussions of their actions. By implementing these ICT's into the students curriculum, "they also learn many skills associated with team work and cilent interaction that are often not taught in courses" ( Kearsley and Shneiderman, 1999) In my opinions stated above, I certainly do not want to portray that Cyber bullying, or any bullying for that matter, are not very real and important issues for our classrooms today. However, using these issues as reasons or excuses not to implement ICT's in a classroom seem, to me, to be the wrong decision.


Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 4, 2009, from


  1. Hi Kelly,

    I completely agree with you about blogs and bullying - the problem is the behaviour, not the location where the problem behaviour is occurring. Provided students are well educated about appropriate behaviour online, and provided teachers who assign ICT related tasks to students are able to closely monitor the use of ICTs (for example, by using an RSS reader to monitor blog postings and comments), the benefits that students can get from these types of tasks far outweigh the risks. That's my point of view as a non-teacher, anyway!


  2. Thanks Lauren.
    My opinions are not from any experience within the industry, but I still think that sweeping a problem under the carpet by banning blogs is certianly not an answer. We need to give our kids a bit more credit. Our students may surpise us if we put a bit more confidence in them.

  3. Hi Kelly,

    I'm aware of the Blog comment conversation you refer to and support your case stated above.
    You are correct in suggesting that a teacher's duty of care is not restricted to the classroom or school grounds. The virtual world offers additional teaching opportunities for teachers to demonstrate the impacts of what is unethical and sometimes unlawful behaviour.