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Student Blogging Activity 2 (Beginner): Setting Up Rules & Guidelines

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This is the second activity in the ‘30 days to get your students blogging‘ series.

agentIn this activity you will:

  1. Learn why having blogging rules & guidelines is important
  2. See examples from educators around the globe
  3. Decide on the rules & guidelines
  4. Publishing the guidelines on your blog
  5. 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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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:

The Two Page Blog Guide For Parents by Kathleen McGeady is an excellent idea for a parent resource.

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

<h3>Why Have Blogging Rules and Guidelines?</h3>
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:
<ol>
<li>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?</li>
<li>What should/shouldn’t you write in posts and/or comments?</li>
</ol>
<h3>Deciding On Your Blogging Rules and Guidelines</h3>
This is the type of task where you could decide on the rules and guidelines yourself or do as a whole of class activity (where you actively involve your students in the entire process).
<strong>Here are examples of different ways they are used on class blogs to help you with the task:</strong>
<ul>
<li>2KM @ Leopold Primary School! <a href=”http://2kmblog.globalstudent.org.au/our-blog-guidelines-and-privacy/”>Our Blog Guidelines</a> and <a href=”http://2kmblog.globalstudent.org.au/about-2kms-blog/”>General blogging information</a> (Grade 2)</li>
<li>Math Error <a href=”http://macsclass.edublogs.org/class-bolg-guidelines/”>Class Blogging Guidelines</a></li>
<li><span style=”color: #000000;”>Mr. Salsich’s <a href=”http://jmsalsich.edublogs.org/blog-guidelines/”>Class Blog Guidelines</a> (Grade 3)</span></li>
<li>Mr Mundorf’s Class <a href=”http://jmundorf.edublogs.org/online-safety/”>Online Safety</a> (Grade 5)</li>
<li>Huzzah’s <a href=”http://huzzah.edublogs.org/commenting-guidelines/”>Commenting Guidelines</a> (Grade 5/6)</li>
<li><span style=”color: #000000;”> Endless Questions <a href=”http://hcato.edublogs.org/responsible-blogging/”>Responsible Blogging</a> (Grade 6-8 )</span></li>
<li>Mr. Pfluger’s Discussion Corner <a href=”http://tpfluger.edublogs.org/blog-guidelines/”>Blog Guidelines</a> (Grade 6)</li>
<li>Our Space <a href=”http://ourspace.edublogs.org/student-blogging-guidelines/”>Student blogging Guidelines</a> (Year 6)</li>
<li><span style=”color: #000000;”>Mr. M’s History Blog <a href=”http://cmiraglia.edublogs.org/posting-comments/”>Posting Comments</a> (Grade 8 )</span></li>
<li>Mr Jorgensen’s <a href=”http://mrjorgensen.edublogs.org/blog-guidelines/”>Blogging Guidelines</a> (Grade 8 )</li>
<li><span style=”color: #000000;”>Mr B’s Box <a href=”http://misterb.globalstudent.org.au/about-our-blogs/”>Parent Information about our blogs</a></span></li>
<li><span style=”color: #000000;”>Scattergood Biology <a href=”http://sfsbiology.edublogs.org/how-to-post/”>How To Post and Comment</a></span></li>
<li><span style=”color: #000000;”>Biology in Action <a href=”http://biologyblog.edublogs.org/about/”>Blogging Guidelines </a>(High School and College)</span></li>
</ul>
The <a href=”http://theedublogger.com/2009/05/05/check-out-this-two-page-blog-guide-for-parents/”>Two Page Blog Guide For Parents</a> by <a href=”http://2kmblog.globalstudent.org.au/”>Kathleen McGeady</a> is an excellent idea for a parent resource.
If you want to include Online Safety activities as part of the process then, Larry Ferlazzo’s <a rel=”bookmark” href=”http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2009/08/02/the-best-sites-for-learning-online-safety/”>The Best Sites For Learning Online Safety</a> post is a good starting place to identify suitable resources.
<h3>Setting Up Your Blogging Rules and Guidelines</h3>
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 <a href=”http://wyatt67.edublogs.org/2008/05/21/we-are-all-blogging/”>Miss W. has done.</a>
<strong>Here’s information to help you with working with pages:</strong>
<ol>
<li><a href=”http://help.edublogs.org/2009/08/01/the-differences-between-posts-and-pages/”>Differences between Posts and Pages</a></li>
<li><a href=”http://help.edublogs.org/2009/08/01/writing-pages/”>Writing Pages</a></li>
<li>Most class blogs use blog themes that have navigational links to Pages at the top of the theme e.g., <span style=”color: #000000;”><a href=”http://jmsalsich.edublogs.org/”>Mr. Salsich’s blog</a>.</span><span style=”color: #000000;”> Links at the top of the theme make it easier to navigate pages. </span><span style=”color: #000000;”><img title=”Example of a blog with navigation links at top of theme” src=”http://theedublogger.edublogs.org/files/2010/01/rulespage1.jpg” alt=”Example of a blog with navigation links at top of theme” width=”449″ height=”138″ /></span></li>
<li><a title=”The 137 Edublogs Themes Separated Into Categories  To Make Choosing Your Next Theme Easier” rel=”bookmark” href=”../2010/05/13/the-137-edublogs-themes-separated-into-categories-to-make-choosing-your-next-theme-easier/”>The 137 Edublogs Themes  Separated Into Categories To Make Choosing Your Next Theme Easier</a></li>
<li><a title=”Taking The Agony Out Of Using Custom Image Headers” rel=”bookmark” href=”http://theedublogger.com/2009/03/22/taking-the-agony-out-of-using-custom-image-headers/”>Taking The Agony Out Of Using Custom Image Headers</a></li>
<li>Use the Pages widget for blog themes that don’t include navigational links — here is how you<a href=”http://help.edublogs.org/2009/08/06/changing-your-sidebar-widgets/”> change your sidebar widgets!</a></li>
</ol>

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:

  1. Working With Pages from  the Teacher Challenge for new bloggers
  2. 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.Example of a blog with navigation links at top of theme
  3. Adding links to pages to your top navigation using a custom menu.
  4. 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.

Video

 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!

  1. Student Blogging Activity 1 (Beginner): Setting Up Your Class Blog
  2. Student Blogging Activity 2 (Beginner): Setting Up Rules & Guidelines
  3. Student Blogging Activity 3 (Beginner) – Teaching Quality Commenting
  4. Student Blogging Activity 4 (Beginner) – Helping Parents Connect with your Class Blog
  5. Student Blogging Activity 5 (Beginner): Add Students To Your Class Blog So They Can Write Posts
  6. Student Blogging Activity 6 (Beginner): Add A Visitor Tracking Widget To Your Blog Sidebar
  7. Student Blogging Activity 7 (Beginner): Set up your student blogs
  8. Student Blogging Activity 8 (Beginners): Add your student blogs to your blogroll
  9. Student Blogging Activity 9 (Beginners): Add Your Student Blogs To A Folder In Google Reader

47 comments for “Student Blogging Activity 2 (Beginner): Setting Up Rules & Guidelines

  1. Shikha
    May 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Here is my blog’s Blog Rules and Guidelines

    Please give your feedback and suggestions.

  2. Elaine
    February 16, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Hi! I was able to add my guidelines to my Blog site today, which is a big step forward for me. For some reason, this is really confusing but I’m gradually sorting it out. I know I will eventually get it though!

    • February 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      Excellent news Elaine and you can find initially that it can be confusing but it will become easier. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you do need help or have any questions!

  3. gfraher
    August 30, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Hello, I am so happy to have such a great resource to help me with setting up my guidelines for blogging and quality comments. After viewing all of the examples, it made it so easy for me to set up my guidelines. I am now including links to my blog roll. I was wondering if anyone knows if it is possible to change the font colors on the blog roll list. The theme I chose is dark and the link letters are black. It doesn’t show up. Any help would be appreciated…thank you in advance.

    http://gfraher.edublogs.org

    • August 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      G’day,
      One of my students also uses that theme and the blogroll links are also black and hard to see. It must be a problem with that theme. You will need to contact Edublogs support, mention the theme and the fact that there is no frame around the blogroll widget like there is around the other widgets in that theme. They will probably contact the theme developer and see if it can be changed.

  4. April 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I’m only two months behind with this activity, but better late than never! It took me awhile to get permission from on-high to formally start my class blog, but now that it’s up, I think about how I can use it all the time. Their enthusiasm and ownership has been amazing.

    The mall analogy was helpful in helping students to understand that they should exercise the same amount of caution online as they would with any other public space. Tracy Watanabe’s use of the term “community” was also helpful in getting my students to see how they are a part of a larger whole when they blog. Thanks, Tracy!

    I was surprised at the varying levels of knowledge and experience my 4th grade students had with Internet safety. It definitely highlighted the need for teaching this important skill at school, so all students are prepared and knowledgeable.

    • April 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Maria,

      I’m so glad you went through the appropriate channels to get permission (and buy-in) to formally start your class blog. The 4th grade teacher I’m working with, Mrs. Martinez, never wants to teach writing without a class blog ever again. It’s incredible what having a real purpose and audience does. And it’s so true, learning about internet safety while using it makes so much sense.

      I look forward to reading more from your class!

      Kind regards,
      Tracy

  5. March 12, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I am wayyyy behind 0 but I finally got my guidelines page done. There was some great work out there and My yr 10s are really lookin forward to blogging. http://nenifoofer.edublogs.org/using-the-blog-stay-safe/
    feedback welcome:)

    • March 13, 2011 at 10:53 am

      Hi Jenny, trust me I know the feeling. I’ve been behind in writing the posts the last couple weeks :( The most important aspect is to work through it at your own pace.

      I have to say that your Guideline’s page is one of the most extensive guideline pages I have read. I especially like how you have added in the information about Twitter and Facebook regarding friends and teachers.

  6. February 28, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Hello, I’m a little behind the rest of you as I was waiting for our semester to kick in to kickstart my student blogging activities, and finally here we are. I teach an EFL Advanced Writing class to adults at the local public university in Michoacan, Mexico. Some of my students are EFL teachers themselves seeking to maintain their language skills.

    Yesterday we went to the Self Access Center to set up their blogs. Students range from computer experts and were setting up another blog for their class writing, to newbies, going online for the first time out of their emailing. Their goal: set up their blog, personalize it with themes, an About page and a Welcome Post, and the assignment for the day was to review many of the sites you had posted on this challenge and synthesize their own guidelines. During the week, they must comment on classmates’ posts and thus, the most visited sites will be synthesized again into our class blogging guidelines.

    Being that they are adults, I thought it best to have them set up their own guidelines, to take ownership of their learning. They are on a steep learning curve (as I was also during the first challenge) and know that I have had that breathless experience also.

    I invite you all to visit and even leave comments on their posts, they will feel extremely gratified. If anyone knows of a group that would like to exchange Creative Writing comments throughout the semester, please post me when you visit http://writingcu.wordpress.com Thanks

  7. February 26, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I had a blast blogging with 4th grade today! There were a few things I realized once I had a whole class involved… http://wwwatanabe.blogspot.com/2011/02/blogging-with-students-internet-safety.html

    Or, visit the actual class blog at http://martinezroom201.edublogs.org/

    Thank you so much Edublogs for teaching us how, and building a community to support our doing this!

    • February 28, 2011 at 1:28 am

      Hullo Tracy, I saw that you also put the creation of the guidelines in your students’ hands. I think that is the best way of estblishing rules and guidelines, then they believe in them and will follow them. Great blogging. Ellen

      • March 1, 2011 at 3:08 am

        Thanks, Ellen. It worked out fabulously because it gave them voice, connected prior knowledge, and set up an opportunity to establish specific procedures for blogging.

  8. February 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I read Heather’s comment with great interest. I did not know that you needed a web license to use the You Tube video from Common craft.

    This leaves me with a question about embedding video. Where can we take videos from and how do we know if a web license is required?

    Ms Irwin

    • February 28, 2011 at 1:26 am

      According to the first teacher challenge, if we give credit to the work in creative commons, then we are respecting ownership. I understood that if a video is on youtube, then it is in the public domain and can be reproduced for educational means, as long as credit is gien to the author. Correct me if I am wrong….

  9. February 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Hello everyone,

    I have been hard at work setting up my first class blog. While I wish I was able to use Edublogs unfortunately living in China that is not an option so I am using Weebly which was suggested by Sue Wyatt as an alternative. I am liking the look of what I am getting as I play around with the site and try different things. I decided to invest a little money and get the Pro version as it offered me a larger variety of options. They had sent me a coupon for 33% off so I used it.

    I will admit that I have borrowed heavily from a number of other class blogs that I have yet to give credit to but will as soon as I have a chance to do my research again and import them into the Guidelines and How to Comment areas. Maybe this way I will learn exactly how Pingbacks and Trackbacks work.

    I am also in the process of buying an individual license so I can use the You Tube video about blogging from Common Craft. I believe that it will be a tremendous help to parents when they see the whole picture.

    Tonight my students are going to be checking out everything and letting me know tomorrow what they think about the site. I would appreciate your comments also.

    You will find us at

    http://Year4Atalks.weebly.com

    Heather

    PS Last night (Wednesday) Sue Wyatt was featured on the e@talking series on Elluminate. It is part of the Australia Series led by Anne “Murcha”. It was wonderful and I strong recommend everyone to listen to the discussion. I am totally in awe of what Sue has accomplished.

    • February 26, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks for that Heather. You should have been in the room for the half hour before when I could neither speak nor hear what was being said. Thanks to Jo Hart for getting my audio and mic working to run the session.

  10. Mr Laidlaw
    February 23, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    I had a small incident in Room 9 the other day when a student complained about a message from another student on his wiki. It came at just the right time for this blog challenge. We had a general class discussion about online behaviour and why good behaviour in its widest sense is necessary. I have added a new page to our Room 9′s Blog blog for students and parents to read.

  11. February 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for the link!

  12. February 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    And I’m sorry about not posting on the daily questions; I just can’t get it to work. I’ve switched browsers, but to no avail. I am checking the discussion, however.

    • February 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      Hi Sheri, well done with your comprehensive Guideline and detailed information for your students. I especially liked how you added the guidelines into text widget in your blog sidebar.

      You did really well with adding lines betweent the paragraphs in the text widget. Most people struggle to work out how to do that.

  13. February 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I have learned a little something from each of these commenters — from comment prompts to adding a literacy expectation to my guidelines. I’ll have to update again!

    Here are my two posts about rules and expectations:
    Netiquette

    Get Ready

    My blogs are here:
    What Else Teacher Blog to Students
    Class Blog

  14. February 21, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I created a Blogging/Comment guideline page and a post on many internet safety websites. I would love to know how your students stay safe online!

    Theresa
    http://csrncomputers.blogspot.com

  15. February 21, 2011 at 3:25 am

    I was just thinking about student safety this week. All of the sites and information you included in this activity was very helpful. I created a page for our blog rules as well as a page for parents.
    Right now, students are mainly reading and commenting on the posts on “Our Library Blog” as we work out the details of how they will publish posts such as book commercials and book talks.
    I am also still working on getting the school more involved in reading and checking the blog on a regular basis.
    Thanks to the 2KM blog for the commoncraft video blogs in plain english. I have included that on my parent information page.

    Check it out at http://mskirwin.edublogs.org

    • February 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm

      Hi mskirwin, love how you have set up the two pages. I’m wondering if it is worth adding “Parents who leave comments are asked to use only their first names so as to not identify their child.” to the Parent information page as well — I’m thinking the parents are more likely to check that page more closely than the Blogging Rules.

      • February 22, 2011 at 2:48 am

        Hi Sue,

        Thanks for the idea. You’re right, I bet some parents might skip the other page but go directly to the parent page. I will add it there too!

        mskirwin

  16. February 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Have created a guidelines page and discussed with class:
    http://ithinksummerland.blogspot.com/p/blogging-tips-and-safety-guide.html

    used combinations of others above – some great ideas here

    • February 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm

      Hi Claire, very clear and concise blogging guidelines – well done!

  17. February 18, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Ronnie

    Thanks for linking to the guidelines of my 2009 and 2010 blog. I now have a new class blog. It is the 2KM and 2KJ blog

    You can find the same guidelines and blogging information there.

    Also the two page blog guide for parents you linked to has developed into a 5 page document this year called “Ten Steps to Navigating the 2KM and 2KJ blog. You can find it in this post.

    Finally, I was married in December and my name is now Kathleen Morris, not Kathleen McGeady.

    Cheers,
    Kathleen

    • February 21, 2011 at 11:11 pm

      Hi Kathleen, sorry about that and I’ll follow this up with Ronnie. Apologies for the delay but he’s was busy moving last week.

    • sheri zuniga
      August 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Your information, video, posters etc. are wonderful. I set up an account with Edmodo.com for my fourth grade students to blogg with each other. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  18. February 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I created a Blogging Guidelines page on my class blog. I welcome comments on how to improve it.

    • February 21, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Jana, I’ve checked through your Blogging Guidelines — you’ve done an excellent job. I especially love how you are modelling to the students that you used those blogs for sources of ideas.

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