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.

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