Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Blog Policies

There are some things I want you to remember about blogging. Many of things have been discussed by other teachers and classes, so I will paraphrase them here and try to give them proper credit:

First of all, our class will not be the only people to view our postings. The Internet is accessible almost everywhere these days, and even if a post is deleted, there’s no guarantee that the posting hasn’t been copied and propagated to other sites or linked to from those sites. This has a couple of implications:

First, privacy. We will only be using first names on the site. If I post pictures or video, no one will be identified, other than “Mr. French’s class”. Do not use pictures of yourself for your profile here. If you want a graphic image associated with your profile, use an “avatar” – a picture of something that represents you but is not you. Here’s a link to a fun image creator.

Second, etiquette, appearance and common sense. Bud the Teacher has these suggestions, among others:

  1. Students using blogs are expected to treat blogspaces as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for our blog. While we encourage you to engage in debate and conversation with other bloggers, we also expect that you will conduct yourself in a manner reflective of a representative of this school.

  2. Never EVER EVER give out or record personal information on our blog. Our blog exists as a public space on the Internet. Don’t share anything that you don’t want the world to know. For your safety, be careful what you say, too. Don’t give out your phone number or home address. This is particularly important to remember if you have a personal online journal or blog elsewhere.

  3. Again, your blog is a public space. And if you put it on the Internet, odds are really good that it will stay on the Internet. Always. That means ten years from now when you are looking for a job, it might be possible for an employer to discover some really hateful and immature things you said when you were younger and more prone to foolish things. Be sure that anything you write you are proud of. It can come back to haunt you if you don’t.

  4. Never link to something you haven’t read. While it isn’t your job to police the Internet, when you link to something, you should make sure it is something that you really want to be associated with. If a link contains material that might be creepy or make some people uncomfortable, you should probably try a different source.
Are there other considerations we should take into account? Use the comment feature to add any others or to clarify/expand on one of the above.

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