Original title: Blog Rules – Just the basics, 4 rules based on Respect, Inclusion, Learning and Safety
In May of ’06 I taught a 10 day course on Leonardo Da Vinci, as part of our yearly Renaissance Fair. I did this in a brand new way. I started the project off by having students create their own blog here on elgg. I also created a learning community/forum for each of the two classes, and a social forum to be shared by both classes.
There is one thing above all others that significantly impressed me with this experience: Students owning the learning, asking the important questions, and helping each other to learn. They showed an incredible willingness to contribute/share their ideas.
I wasn’t sure what rules I should give around ‘Safe Blogging’ so I pared it down to some basics. In our school we have been slowly rolling out the ideas of Restitution and we have developed 4 basic beliefs: Respect, Safety, Inclusion, and Learning. So I thought why not use these beliefs as the guiding principles for the blogs and communities? Here is what it has evolved to (a work in progress I know…)
Note that #3 in the post below, ‘Learning’ is broken into two sections, 3a for the social forum where this post is found in, and 3b is for the class dialogues and the student blogs. I like this separation, (good idea or control issues- I’m still undecided???), because it keeps the learning space a learning space, and still allows the students a place to be kids- with minimal ‘cross pollination’.
I like having two different class blogs so that I can have kids reflect on things without giving away the lesson to the second class, but I also liked that the social blog was a place they could come together… In fact I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the conversation that often happened in the social forum! I ran a powerpoint presentation during the fair to showcase some of the online ‘conversations’ that occurred. Here is the presentation (Part 1 and Part 2) along with some optional student feedback (all that was given to me).
I’ve found a lot of posts in the ‘edu-blogsville web-world’ recently around Blog Rules with most of them emphasizing what NOT to do. I did find one positive gem, Arapahoe High School’s Blogging Policy, with 3 sections: Safe and Responsible Blogging; Successful Bloggers; and a Sample with ‘additive’ comments.
– – – – – Here is the post with my BASIC RULES:
In the class forums, (I call them class dialogues), I repeat these as the basic rules above without 3a. I also provide a definition:
This is a space for students to add to Mr. Truss’ class learning dialogue.
Definition: dialogue (also dialog) noun
• a discussion between two or more people or groups, esp. one directed toward exploration of a particular subject or resolution of a problem. See ‘conversation’.
Every student will contribute to this dialogue on a regular basis.
There are some basic rules for using this forum.
(The basic rules are repeated here in the post.)
– – – – –
Originally posted: January 9th, 2007
Reflection upon re-reading and re-posting:
Even today I am amazed at how well this project went. It exceeded my expectations and ‘sold’ me on the use of technology for learning.
I still like these rules, and as an Administrator now, I am really liking the idea of Restitution- making things right, rather than punishment.