This past Saturday I made a remark to teachers that the only reason why they were afraid of using tools like blogging is because students caught onto it first and ran off with it before teachers and other adults were able to teach the ethical side of blogging and use of these tools. I encouraged teachers to get out there and set a good example.
There are many great examples on the web today of what blogging should be about, and then you come across what you don't expect. That happened this morning. I subscribe to a number of blogs, but there are a few that I check on weekly. One of them is Creating Passionate Users, and I've mentioned them briefly on here before. So this morning I head over to her blog and I was so bothered by what I read, I wanted to cry. This person, who I have never met before, Kathy Sierra seems to be one of the most positive people I have ever met. I love her blog. Then I went to my blog feeds and saw that Tom Turner and Steve Dembo had already posted about it. So has Wes Frye and a few other great bloggers. It's really an outcry!
What a challenge. With something like that to stare you in the face, how do you fight the battle of blogging in the classroom? We've had hard enough time getting around cyberbullying on sites like MySpace.
There was a quote I read somewhere about how a hammer can be used as a tool of violence or a tool to build houses. If we don't teach how to use the tools, they will be used the wrong way. With that in my mind, I would still encourage schools to teach the ethical and educational use of blogging and set a good example. If all the great blogs out there disappeared, then all the students have left are blogs that really demonstrate the ugly side of blogging.
So go blog - and teach the students what a blog should look like and how to use the moral code when deciding how to use that Freedom of Speech.