Safe Blogging and Good Practice

Blogging is a great tool to use with Young Learners, but there are certain things that should be kept in mind with regard to good blogging practice and safety online. You can find many ideas of how best to ensure this on educational blogs such as this one.

Here are a few of these rules for safe blogging and good practice adapted for Young Language Learners :

1. Make sure the learners don't use their full names (avoid using last names for example) and don't mention their addresses or other personal information (phone numbers, email addresses, IM names, etc.) that would tie the learners down to a particular place and time or allow them to be contacted.

2. Think twice about publishing photos of the Young Learners, and if you do decide to do this, make sure you have permission from parents to do so, and explain the reason why you want to do this to them.

3. As with anything you publish 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.

3. Make sure the students do not write anything that may be offensive or hurtful to others. If a student does write something that is questionable, ask them how they would feel if somebody wrote something similar about them.

4. Ask the students to check spelling, grammar, and avoid correcting their work online (it's just too time-consuming and the value of this is questionable). An alternative is to print the student posts and highlight where they have gone wrong on paper, then encourage them to make corrections in the blog themselves (this also encourages process writing).

5. Remember that what you and your students put on the Internet will most likely stay on the Internet, so do not publish anything that you may regret later. The last thing you or your students want to find in years to come is a foolish post that may damage the chances of someone getting a job, etc.

6. Make sure things you write about are true. Provide links to sources. Encourage learners to respct copyright and only use images, etc. that they have permission to use.

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