Step 2 – Set Up Your Blogging Rules and Guidelines

bloggingstep2We’ve designed a series of nine steps, with how-to info, to help you with your class blogging.

This second step is to set up blogging rules and guidelines on your class blog.

Why Have Blogging Rules and Guidelines?

An important part of using an online tool with your students is educating them on appropriate online behavior.  Just because your students grew up with technology doesn’t mean they appreciate or understand what is/isn’t appropriate to post online.

Your class blog provides an excellent opportunity to educate students, parents and other readers on proper online behavior such as:

  1. Types of identifying information that is appropriate in posts and/or comments e.g., What are your rules about use of last names, IM, images and personal information?
  2. What should/shouldn’t you write in posts and/or comments?

Deciding On Your Blogging Rules and Guidelines

This is the type of task where you could decide on the rules and guidelines yourself or do as a whole of class activity (where you actively involve your students in the entire process).

Here are examples of different ways they are used on class blogs to help you with the task:

The Two Page Blog Guide For Parents by Kathleen McGeady is an excellent idea for a parent resource.

If you want to include Online Safety activities as part of the process then, Larry Ferlazzo’s The Best Sites For Learning Online Safety post is a good starting place to identify suitable resources.

Setting Up Your Blogging Rules and Guidelines

Once you’ve decided what you want to include in your rules and guidelines it is now just a case of publishing them on your blog.

You would normally publish them on a Page rather than in a post because pages are ideal for important information like this that you don’t expect to update frequently. However, if you also wanted to discuss your rules with your students and readers you might write a post like Miss W. has done.

Here’s information to help you with working with pages:

  1. Differences between Posts and Pages
  2. Writing Pages
  3. Most class blogs use blog themes that have navigational links to Pages at the top of the theme e.g., Mr. Salsich’s blog. Links at the top of the theme make it easier to navigate pages. Example of a blog with navigation links at top of theme
  4. The 137 Edublogs Themes Separated Into Categories To Make Choosing Your Next Theme Easier
  5. Taking The Agony Out Of Using Custom Image Headers
  6. Use the Pages widget for blog themes that don’t include navigational links — here is how you change your sidebar widgets!

FINAL THOUGHTS

These steps were originally created as part of the preparation for the Student Blogging Challenge (the next challenge starts September, 2010).

You can read more about the Student blogging challenge here:

  1. About the student challenge
  2. Student Blogging Challenge FAQs

And here’s where you find the other steps for setting up your class blog:

Please a comment on this post:

  1. If you have any problems or questions while setting up your class blog just — I’m always happy to help!
  2. If you have advice for other educators on setting up their blogging rules and guidelines or have resources we should check out!

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Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

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42 Responses

  1. Jesús says:

    I was very happy to read that our class blog was chosen as an example for big audiences. Thank you very much Sue!

    I know this will change my students’ ideas about blogging and how they might be able to impact their world by learning through blogging. I’m sure they’ll be as enthusiatic as I am.

    Just to be clear: Those rules and guidelines were not written by me; but rather they were taken from other sources. The links are written at the end of those pages. So, please check them out.

    • Jesús says:

      @Jesús, sorry, I forgot to mention that our blog is “Publishing Corner”. please visit.

      • Sue Waters says:

        @Jesús, Glad you are pleased to see your blog on the list.

        Many of the rules and guidelines I saw on the different class blogs have been adapted from other sources. That is quite common which is why I provide examples for others to use for ideas. You have done it well as you have acknowledged the original source.

  2. kongrit says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing.I was looking for this!

    • Sue Waters says:

      @kongrit, Glad the information was helpful. I’ve tried in the past to get other to share their links on this type of information and not had much luck so this time I compiled the resources while adding blogs to our class blog list.

  3. David Truss says:

    Hi Sue,
    Here are some that I came up with a while back: http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/blog-rules-respect-inclusion-learning-and-safety/
    The key thing here was that I took our 4 school beliefs and said, ‘These apply online too!’.
    Also, my focus was on what we ‘do’ not what we ‘don’t do’ – other than when it came to Safety and protecting ourselves.
    Without established school beliefs, (we were a Restitution school), I think if I had my own class again then I’d definitely have the kids help establish the rules they have to respect and abide by.
    ~Dave.

    • Sue Waters says:

      @David Truss, thanks for sharing the link to your post. Shame the link to the other blog no longer works as I would have liked to look at their rules also.

      I like how you highlight here about what we should do as opposed to often how we talk about what we shouldn’t do. Definitely agree — very good to have the students part of the process.

    • Jacques says:

      I think the tasks are better suembsud by two other things: Google Alerts to discover other conversations, and then subsequent blog posts that link to the other conversations if they are worthwhile.Of course, this is somewhat more work than automatic pingbacks, but then, I can’t recall ever following a pingback myself – pretty much the only time I notice the conversation continuing elsewhere is because it was either someone I followed, or it came up on a social news site, or because the blog author linked to it themselves.

  4. wiper blades says:

    I know this will change my students’ ideas about blogging and how they might be able to impact their world by learning through blogging. I’m sure they’ll be as enthusiatic as I am.

  5. You blog is great visualy. I am a newbie to logging, i have helped more..Your blog have a great resource about blogging. thank you for useful post.

  6. Jesús Glez. says:

    Hey there, This is an update. Unfourtunately the blog “Publishing Corner” has been closed down because I’m not working anymore with teenagers. I have to say that it was a fantastic experince of which I learned enormously, and I really want to repeat it. Nevertheless, I’m still working with my personal blog along with my students which are now from primary levels.

    Thanks againg for the recognition and read you soon!

  7. Sue Waters says:

    @Jesús Glez thanks for letting us know and I’ve removed your blog for the list. Best of luck with your new group of students!

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