Ah, the joys of school district content filters.

No Speed of Creativity today

Note the category / reason for this content filter block: Web Logs / Personal Pages. Unfortunately content filter policies like this which view all “blogs” as evil and inappropriate for anyone to access at school are quite common in the state of Oklahoma, from what I’ve seen. This is the reason we’ve created a recommended domain whitelist for professional development sessions for the Oklahoma Digital Centennial Project. That whitelist currently just includes a few blogs (and not any classroom blogs YET) but at least it includes some. Addressing this misperception was also a major goal of my talk at the K-12 Market Symposium at MacWorld a few weeks ago.

I think our best hope for constructively and positively changing adult perceptions about blogging will come from having our children and students regularly write on moderated CLASSROOM BLOGS open for public comments. NPR’s episode today, “Iran’s Pollution Worries Come by Air and Water” revealed that some Iranian government officials promoting environmental protection understand this. Kids have power to change perceptions in their families. The Iranian officials quoted in the NPR piece believe children have more power to shape the perceptions of their parents than the government does itself. Western businesses know this, just look at the ways they spend their marketing dollars. The purchasing power wielded by tweens / Gen X or Gen Y kids (choose your term) in many families is huge. We need to recognize this as evangelists for the appropriate use of educational technologies in schools. Our best advocates may be our students.

When a teacher establishes a safe, moderated classroom blogging environment using a tool like Class Blogmeister, s/he is not merely advancing the literacy development of students. The act of helping students safely blog over time in a moderated, public space tangibly advances a school reform agenda which includes changing adult perceptions of learning, especially as learning relates to and involves technology.

Mark Ahlness, Doug Noon, and other classroom teachers are leading the way with their alumni blogging sites for students as well as their current class blogs.

Got a few minutes to spare? Visit Mark’s current class blog and Doug’s class blog, as well as others on the support blogging wiki site, and EDIFY THOSE STUDENT BLOGGERS! In your comment let them know who you are and where you live, and what you find meaningful, worthwhile, and complimentable in one of their posts. This is not a “random act of kindness,” these are intentional, specific acts which have potential to make a positive impact on the lives of children living in other parts of the globe.

Do you know of other classroom teachers moderating “alumni blogs” for their students? I’d love to know who they are and what the links are to their alumni blogs.

Get to commenting and edifying! 🙂

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3 Responses to Blog Blocks, Student Influence for Social Change, Edifying student bloggers

  1. Mark Ahlness says:

    Wesley,
    Thanks so much for spreading this message again! And for leaving comments for my kids again! I agree with you that the true agents of change may be sitting in our classrooms right now – little 8 or 9 year olds – or even younger. They have a fearless way of reaching out, which is so refreshing. If we keep it safe for them, teach them how to stay safe as they grow up – there is no telling what they can accomplish. They continue to amaze me. I have an 8 year old who blogged today about someone she admires (nice piece of writing) – and then asked her audience who THEY admire: http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=41662&blog_id=176764&position2=1

  2. […] As a few of my former posts reveal, I’m trying to find a balance between helping my students take advantage of online technologies on the one hand, and ensuring their safety and our compliance with district guidelines on the other.  (And apparently I’m not the only one, though Wesley Freyer takes things a step further and offers great suggestions.) […]

  3. […] Blog Blocks, Student Influence for Social Change, Edifying student bloggers […]

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