Thank you Willy for the question that leads to so many more.
Again I need to state that the blogging part of this class is/will be the hardest part for me. So needless to say Thing 4 is difficult also because it involves so much blog reading to go along with this blog post.
It struck me as I was reading that most of the blogs were relatively short and were written in a story telling format. So I can see blogging as a useful tool for English classes where writing is an essential part of the curriculum. But there is an added benefit to writing on a blog. You can get feedback from more than just one or two persons. For example, if I was writing an essay for class, I would start with a rough draft. I may solicit comments from a parent at this point to help create the draft. I may even run it by my teacher. Then taking those 2 or 3 points of view I would sit back down and edit and finalize my essay. After turning it in the teacher would grade it, maybe make a comment, and that’s it. Now if I use a blog to do the same thing I potentially have many more people that can read and comment and thus many more points of view. Especially if all of my classmates are also blogging the same assignment. The potential for collaborative writing is enormous and extends well beyond the classroom walls or even the campus.
Is this a good thing? What are your thoughts?
On another note, I was reading through PowerPont Reform: a first chapter and it got me thinking about our content filter. Are these kind of sites open? If not, why not? Typically sites like Flickr would be blocked because of the potential and existence of adult content and comments. Someone needs to start the discussion to review them so that we can strike that balance between providing a safe(r) Internet while still allowing for creativity. I guess that someone is me. I also need to have a discussion with our HS staff. I’ve already seen some comments about restricting what students can do with their blogs (once we have them setup.) From the reading I am doing for this class I am forming some opinions about how restrictive we (as administrators) should be in regards to what we allow students to do with Web 2.0 tools. I think our initial knee jerk is to lock them down to very little. But now I’m re-thinking that position. It just feels like we are putting limits on their creativity, and that just does not seem right to me.
What is your position? Does your District have a policy in place that covers student use of Web 2.0 tools and the content they(students) create? How about for Staff?