It certainly seems to have provided a timely reminder for all teachers about the potential dangers of the public nature of the Internet, and raises many issues about what is and is not appropriate fodder for the very public domain of blogging. In the interest of protecting the future of what I see as a very important, rare and precious beast (the reflective teacher blog), here are some tips and advice for how to keep ourselves (and our students) safe in the blogosphere.
Please note - this is a work in progress and any suggestions, additions and/or feedback is welcome!
10 Tips for Teacher Blogs
- Make the content about your teaching, not your students.
- Actually, avoid discussing the students directly at all...if possible.
- If you do make a reference to a student (even in a positive light), do not name or identify them.
- Same goes for your colleagues and bosses - again this should be a forum for sharing and reflecting on your teaching strategies, resources and outcomes.
- Humour is good, mocking others is not.
- Keep language professional and appropriate ("profanity-laced" probably best avoided).
- Don't reveal (literally or figuratively) too much about yourself - we are getting dangerously comfortable in a very public, easily copied and shared environment.
- Don't make your home address or phone number available
- Think before you blog.
- Don't drink before you blog.