good examples of student(s) blogging?

saw this in another feed, Will’s looking for good examples of student blogs in the classroom, with blogging as defined by “writing that has “Links with analysis and synthesis that articulates a deeper understanding or relationship to the content being linked [to] and written [about] with potential audience response in mind.”
read the post and the many useful feedback which fellow teachers/educators have left under Will’s post.
if you happen to have some good examples to share, you can leave your comments with Will’s post for all the share too :)

Teens wear their hearts on their blog

This report from writes about how millions of youth who grew up with a mouse in one hand and a remote control in the other are pourring out their hearts, minds and angst in blogs.
The section on “Advice for blogging” could be useful for teachers who may be embarking to allow students to blog for their subjects:

Anything on the Internet is public. For safety, Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredExperts, and others recommend:
– Treat everyone you meet online as if he were a stranger, even after you’ve traded information. Lying online is easy.
– Leave out identifying information like your name, where you work and go to school.
– Use e-mail addresses that don’t use your name and can’t be traced to your other online activity.
– When possible, protect your information with passwords.
– Obscure identities in pictures.
– Post only stuff you wouldn’t mind seeing on a billboard.
– Team up with a buddy to check each other’s sites for problems.
– Teens under 13 should only blog with constant supervision.

Blogs as Exam

This posting off weblogg-ed resonate with one of the issues we have had when thinking of bringing blogging into classroom(s), yes, that of assessment.

Unless, of course the standardized exam is to identify and reflect upon the learning evidenced in the Weblog. It would be so simple, right? Take the goals and objectives of the class. Heck, for that matter, take the state standards and say to students “Here, find where you’ve done this in your Weblog. Reflect on what it took to learn it. If you can’t find evidence of the standard, reflect on why. What prevented you from reaching that goal or understanding that concept? What do you think you need at this point in order to master it?” – Will R.

If at a certain level (e.g. secondary? upper pri?) we can start introducing such thinking processes into our students’ learning, we are on the way to cultivate life-long learning. (Continual) assessment can be done based on blog postings and not just our usual one-off paper-and-pen(cil) tests.

Blogs under ‘control’

During the sharing on last week, one issue that was raised: “If we were to allow students to create their blogs in, how can we manage the blogs, which include who are the people viewing, the things put up etc?”
The key word here is _manage_, but control could be the meaning from within.
In time to come, I am quite sure that many, if not all, vendors will build in a blog function in their LMS/CMS. This would allow us the control we desired. But is this as desirable as it seems, especially if we place our students in the center, and think from their perspectives?
Personally, I believe that this is a great drawback on blog itself, as a platform per se. Youngsters worldwide are readily embracing blogs because of one key thing in blog — the sense of ownership.
Hosting blogs in a controlled environment such as a LMS/CMS is giving up much of these ownership. The people who are allowed to view my blogs may be restricted, the things that I am going to blog is likely to be restricted, the look and feel of my blog is going to be restricted etc etc.
Blogs on free platform will free our students from these. It will return this sense of ownership to them coz they are virtually in control of everything.
To control or not to control, each has its (dis)advantages, so its something we may want to park at the back of our mind during our planning stage.
There is this reflection posted by Will Richardson expressing his thoughts about blogs not just be outside CMS but “should be outside school altogether”. Check it out.