Moderating and Ethics for the Classroom Instruction Blog
Patricia Deubel, Ph.D.
1. Does a Classroom Blog offer advantages not available through the regular classroom modalities?
As Patricia Deubel nicely pointed out, it does. Most importantly, a classroom blog offers the opportunity to draw out the voices of classroom members who are seldom or never heard from. Everyone knows that in all classrooms, there are always a few dominate voices that are heard and who “monopolize the airwaves,” while other less assertive personalities go unheard. A blog is, in a sense, a more democratic way for the classroom to participate since you can’t really drown someone out with your keyboard! In the digital age, a powerful keystroke can be the equalizer to the powerful voice.
2. How can a Blog help a teacher to model digital citizenship?
Again, Deubel has provided a wealth of wisdom in this regard. By creating a gated environment and monitoring a posted code of ethics for the blog, a teacher can teach ethical principles that can have further use for students as digital citizens (Anyone who has attempted to respond to a newspaper blog regarding a controversial subject knows fully how desperately wanting digital behavior can be). Students can learn about the balance between free expression and decency toward others. They can learn about limits, self-control, truth, accuracy and respect for others.