Yesterday I posted a note to wwwedu and classblogmeister in reaction to a lengthy messsage listing and detailing all the dangers of students blogging. I'm sure many will read my response and think, "touchy, isn't he?" I suppose I am. There are many things I take for granted that I probably should have noted. Before I start with my list of what's good about blogging, here are some things that most folks don't know...
They don't know that when my kids write, I approve every word before it appears on their blog. That I can and do edit, that I send their writing back to them with comments about how it needs to be improved before it can appear on their blog.
They don't know that I can approve, edit, or delete any comments to student blogs before they appear.
They don't know that we have a blogger's contract, thanks to David Warlick, that all kids have signed, and that we refer to contantly.
They don't know how much I worry about my kids' safety online.
They don't know that my classroom computers all face the center of the room, so that I can see all of them all the time.
They don't know that my kids have absolutely taken off with this, that they blog from home. That they stay in from recess, reading blogs from other kids, writing comments on other kids' writing, composing their own next entries.
They don't know that I have never seen more motivation to write well in 14 years of teaching third graders. That kids blog from home, that their parents are commenting on their blogs, aunts and grandmas, cousins and siblings - all giving public feedback.
They don't know that I am a capable teacher, someone they can trust with kids.
They don't know that blogging, along with rss, holds the biggest potential for positive educational experiences using technology since - well, since web pages became commonplace. Like about 10 years ago.
It's clear to me that what I've just said here isn't so much about what's good about blogging, as it is just providing background, setting the table for my answer - which will come later.