Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blogging Guidelines for Schools

With the rapidly increasing number of students blogging as part of their learning experiences it is good to see that Netsafe has been working on behalf of New Zealand Schools and the Ministry of Education to produce a set of guidelines for schools. It has been labelled guidelines as they are clearly not offering directives but rather "to assist schools in developing a policy for the safe and educationally appropriate use of web-logs or blogs." They have emulated the blogging environment in their approach and have published their guidelines with comments boxes under each of the six headings. So if you want to have your say on this topic, head on over to their website, join their community and add your thoughts to the discussion. They clearly are interested in listening to schools and educators as I recognise a few of the phrases and ideas being explored!
  1. Why use a school blog
  2. Establishing an educational blog
  3. Monitoring and managing the school blog?
  4. Privacy and copyright
  5. Platforms and tools
  6. Discussion questions for your school
They’ve also set up a simple survey there where people can vote for the three most important characteristics of a successful digital citizen. When I went in and added my vote the results so far showed that "Behaves Ethically" has almost double the votes of any of the other options. "Confident and Capable" is the next most voted for aspect of digital citizenship with "Critical Thinker" a close third. So get along there and make your vote. But if you would like to state your opinion publically, then pop back here and tell us through the comments.
I would have liked to choose 4 options, because I think that "Managing your Digital Footprint" is right up there too. And whilst the other three characteristics are being talked about in some classes in some schools, I think it is still extremely rare to find teachers talking with students about managing their digital footprint.


  1. Thanks for this Dorothy. I'm glad the resources are becoming more accessible to schools, especially those that don't know their way around the web. Lack of knowledge leaves schools prone to making rash decisions on net safety in either direction.

  2. Thanks, I will take a look. It is great that someone is working on a unified approach to guide schools with this as it is such an important policy to have in place.

  3. @Pete and @Marnie It really did seem like someone had to provide guidelines as so many have not yet developed this for themselves. I see over on their website that someone has already asked the question "Why is this limited to blogging when schools are using so many other online tools?" Perhaps that was seen to be the most straight forward to address - or maybe it indicates it is the most common social networking platform in NZ schools...