Hey all! This week, I did a partner blog post with Raegyn Fulmek! We decided to take on the topic of blogging, as it is something relatively new to us, and even newer to some parents. We thought the best way to explore this topic was through a hypothetical conversation between the parent and the child. We could not actually talk to each other through this due to various circumstances; however, the script is provided below.
Before beginning the conversation, we began to list the pros that the student thought there were with blogging and how the parent was completely against the idea and therefore, we list some cons that the parent could be thinking.
Pros for blogging (student)
- Express thoughts
- Show progress (e-portfolio)
- Create a Professional online identity (Opportunities to practice digital literacy and citizenship)
- Interact with other people with similar interests
- Promotes regular writing (practice)
- Become more critical of learning
- Fred is a quiet student so he feels he has a voice
Cons for blogging (mom)
- Identity could be stolen
- Account hacked/impersonated
- Setting yourself up for bullying
- The internet
- A form of writing that isn’t enjoyable for all
- Too personal
- Only a child. Shouldn’t be on this form of platform because of stories she has heard in the past
*The following takes place after school one day. Fred’s classroom teacher had him set up a blog to document his learnings, and express himself over the course of the year.*
F: Mom!! Guess what I did at school today?
The mom looks uncertain, but happy her son had a fun day at school.
M: I don’t know, tell me!
The mom has a huge smile on her face.
F: I created my very own blog! Do you want to see it? I’ve worked really hard on it so far!
The mom’s expression changed from happy to distraught.
M: What do you mean you created a blog? You are 11 years old! Aren’t you a little young for that? Was this your teacher’s idea?
F: Yes, it was! The whole class made one and we will be using this frequently in and out of the classroom!
M: I am not sure this is acceptable at your age. I am going to have to have a chat with your teacher!
F: But mom! It’s really fun! Don’t you want to see it? I can put all of my school work on there, and discuss my interests! Other people can comment and tell me what they like and offer suggestions!
M: Yes, of course I would love to see it. She said with an uncertain look.
*Pulls up blog*
F: See isn’t this cool? It has everything on here!
M: It is interesting… But you must remember that people can be mean, and negative when it comes to the internet. Many people hide behind their screens and say whatever comes to mind. Do you think you are ready for that?
F: Yeah, I think so! I do not think anyone will be mean to me..
M: On top of that, the world doesn’t need to see your personal life. Why not use Facebook or Instagram, at least then you can pick who sees what you upload.
F: But Mom, those aren’t that safe. My teacher suggested being careful about everything we put on the internet. Once it’s on there it’s on there for good. Facebook has also faced a lot of trouble with selling people’s information to big ad companies.
M: That is true but blogging and having these online sites has had these downfalls too. Just the other day a school here in Regina, got hacked (W.F Ready). These sites really are not safe. I think it is important we talk to your teacher and maybe all parents could give in their input. How can we ensure this will protect you?
F: My teacher said it was safe! She doesn’t lie.
M: I know hunny, but anything can happen when it comes to the internet. How about we leave the site alone until I have more clarity from your teacher, does that sound fair?
F: I guess Mom..
*3 hours pass*
F: Mom! Mom!
F: I need you to come here, I have to show you a few things.
M: I will be up in 2 minutes.
*Mom comes up stairs*
F: Okay Mom because you were so unsure about blogging I did some research to prove to you that it is safe. My teacher taught us that when we are not sure about something, we should research online. I ensured to use the CRAP test to make sure that my research wasn’t fake?? (idk how to word it)
M: I appreciate you looking into it but I am still hesitant about it.
F: Mom, just please look.
M: Okay, show me what you found.
*Fred showed his Mom various videos and online articles*
F: Here is an article from the Huffington Post, a well-known news source. I also found a few good videos on YouTube on blogging. This one is about student blogging, and this one is all about how to blog safely!
F: What did you think Mom? I will always make sure to follow these 8 steps when blogging.
M: Well I’ll be. I have definitely been very ignorant about the usefulness of blogging. I think I am still going to have a chat with your teacher, but I want them to teach me how I can start blogging too!