I have had a blog since 2006. Have I blogged on it? The answer to that, sadly, is no. I set up the account on blogger for a class I was taking, and since then haven’t done anything with it. I know…kind of embarrassing since that is where technology has headed…with Web 2.0 applications, facebook, twitter, blogs…I feel like I should have already been there. I guess I better get on board!
I have read many blogs though. Doing simple searches while looking for online resources to use in my classroom, I’ve stumbled across blogs and read them. Some have been helpful with information on whatever I may have been searching for, others have been blogs of a personal nature, and still others have been classroom blogs used by students, but set up by teachers. The latter always intrigued me, but I’ve always been hesitant on setting up a tool for my students to use that seemed so public. Sharing one’s thoughts publicly can be a little scary…What will people who read my thoughts think about what I’ve said? Will I sound foolish or as if I don’t know what I’m talking about? Will anyone even care about what I have to say? But, this sharing of ideas and thoughts is exactly where our students are already at. Many of my students text message and even have Facebook accounts where feelings, social happenings, and thoughts are discussed for everyone to see. With our young people, already comfortable with this interactive social media, I feel I should be utilizing this Web 2.0 tool as a learning medium.
Having said that, I do have concerns. Will blogging be safe for my students to use? Will parents and administration be supportive? The article by Larry Magid, listed in the “Cool Cat Teacher” blog, brings up many good points about kids participating in a global community and online safety. It seems according to him and the experts, our youth are safer than ever communicating and collaborating online. Still, it seems a little scary. We definitely as educators using blogs and other online social media, must lay out the ground rules for cyber-safety and be sure that our students have safety guidelines to follow. Blog Rules for teachers and Bud the teacher's blogging rules both look like great resources to get me started!