This is the second activity in the ‘30 days to get your students blogging‘ series.
- Learn why having blogging rules & guidelines is important
- See examples from educators around the globe
- Decide on the rules & guidelines
- Publishing the guidelines on your blog
- Complete the extension activity (if you have time)
Step 1: Why Have Blogging Rules and Guidelines?
An important part of using an online tool with your students is educating them on appropriate online behavior. Just because your students grew up with technology doesn’t mean they appreciate or understand what is/isn’t appropriate to post online.
Your class blog provides an excellent opportunity to educate students, parents and other readers on proper online behavior such as:
- Types of identifying information that is appropriate in posts and/or comments e.g., What are your rules about use of last names, IM, images and personal information?
- What should/shouldn’t you write in posts and/or comments?
Many of these answers will be unique to your school and any policies it might have. Be sure to check local rules and make sure they are included – especially when it comes to using student names and photos in a public blog.
For a more complete overview, see our recent post titled, “We should talk – what are you doing to ensure student safety online?”
Step 2: Examples of Blogging Rules and Guidelines
Here are examples of different ways they are used on class blogs to help you with the task:
- 2KM @ Leopold Primary School! Our Blog Guidelines and General blogging information (Grade 2)
- Math Error Class Blogging Guidelines
- Mr. Salsich’s Class Blog Guidelines (Grade 3)
- Mr Mundorf’s Class Online Safety (Grade 5)
- Huzzah’s Commenting Guidelines (Grade 5/6)
- Endless Questions Responsible Blogging (Grade 6-8 )
- Mr. Pfluger’s Discussion Corner Blog Guidelines (Grade 6)
- Our Space Student blogging Guidelines (Year 6)
- Mr. M’s History Blog Posting Comments (Grade 8 )
- Mr Jorgensen’s Blogging Guidelines (Grade 8 )
- Mr B’s Box Parent Information about our blogs
- Scattergood Biology How To Post and Comment
- Biology in Action Blogging Guidelines (High School and College)
If you want to include Online Safety activities as part of the process then, Larry Ferlazzo’s The Best Sites For Learning Online Safety post is a good starting place to identify suitable resources.
Step 3: Create Your Blogging Rules and Guidelines
First, we need to make the decision about how we are going to create the rules and guidelines for our students:
Option 1: Create the rules and share them with students
Option 2: Facilitate a collaborative discussion with students to create the rules together
The choice here will depend upon the age and level of students in your class and your personal teaching style. That being said, in our experience, whenever we can get students involved in the process, at any age, they have more ownership and a better understanding of what is created.
Step 4: Publishing The Rules To Your Blog
Once you’ve decided what you want to include in your rules and guidelines it is now just a case of publishing them on your blog.
You would normally publish them on a Page rather than in a post because pages are ideal for important information like this that you don’t expect to update frequently. However, if you also wanted to discuss your rules with your students and readers you might write a post like Miss W. has done.
Here’s information to help you with working with pages:
- Working With Pages from the Teacher Challenge for new bloggers
- Most class blogs use blog themes that have navigational links to Pages at the top of the theme e.g., Mr. Salsich’s blog. Links at the top of the theme make it easier to navigate pages.
- Adding links to pages to your top navigation using a custom menu.
- Use the Pages widget for blog themes that don’t include navigational links — here is how you change your sidebar widgets!
All you need to do is go to Pages > Add New and create a new page for your blogging rules.
Watch the video below to learn about Writing New Pages
Step 5: Extension Activity (Optional)
Write a post on your blog about student safety, blogging rules, and how we can teach students to use the web responsibly.
Leave a comment here with a link to your post to share with us all!
Here is where you find the other activities from this series:
Thanks to everyone who is participating in the 30 Days to Get Started Blogging with your students!
And if you missed out, it is never too late to work through the challenges at your own pace!
You can always form your own team with other educators and work together!
- Student Blogging Activity 1 (Beginner): Setting Up Your Class Blog
- Student Blogging Activity 2 (Beginner): Setting Up Rules & Guidelines
- Student Blogging Activity 3 (Beginner) – Teaching Quality Commenting
- Student Blogging Activity 4 (Beginner) – Helping Parents Connect with your Class Blog
- Student Blogging Activity 5 (Beginner): Add Students To Your Class Blog So They Can Write Posts
- Student Blogging Activity 6 (Beginner): Add A Visitor Tracking Widget To Your Blog Sidebar
- Student Blogging Activity 7 (Beginner): Set up your student blogs
- Student Blogging Activity 8 (Beginners): Add your student blogs to your blogroll
- Student Blogging Activity 9 (Beginners): Add Your Student Blogs To A Folder In Google Reader