This is actually something that I think is relevant to the big blog rollout my school is planning for. Having school-sanctioned blogging is a tacit blurring between one’s academic and personal pursuits. Normally that’s the sort of thing we strive for in the classroom; we are, after all, always trying to show the relevance of learning and literacy. But when there is no clear demarcation between what is a classroom activity and what is not, issues of institutional responsibility and control come into play.
Perhaps the school has a say in what is or is not appropriate for blogs hosted at school, but what about blogs hosted elsewhere? What about a trackback to a blog hosted at the school? If someone googles “Penn Charter” and my blog comes up on the first page, does that automatically extend my status as a representative of the school?
I generally follow some (what I think to be) common sense guidelines:
- I avoid mentioning the actual names of students or colleagues
- I keep specific grievances and gossip to myself
- I do not publicize or give out the URL of my blog to students (although I don’t lie about its existence when asked point-blank)
- I don’t post the specifics of assignments and assessments
That last one was something that contributed to me taking down my last blog. I’ve learned to value a certain amount of opaqueness about grades and curriculum, and I realized it could be a complicated thing to give away too much of my planning online, even if my blog could function as an effective content management system (CMS).
On the other hand, I do mention school issues and activities from time to time. I also post pictures I’ve taken — and though those pictures are generally not captioned, students do appear in them. I also don’t hesitate to talk about my personal life, sometimes rather frankly, and that includes my religious beliefs.
Is there more I should or should not be doing? Is this going too far or not far enough?
I personally feel this is something the faculty and staff in my school ought to hash out, and maybe receive some protection in our contracts.
George Bush Gets a Myspace Profile. PopoZao!
myspace, blog, privacy, censorship, etiquette