March 10, 2010

The ethics of blogging

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2011 at 11:03 am

While many have lamented the death of blogging, I’m not one of them. In fact, I still am not convinced of a better way to personalize your web experience. As an educator, I view them as learning spaces where metacognition is king. That’s not the thrust of this post but I wanted to make that clear.

My pre-service teachers are required to blog. I take great pleasure as they take ownership of those spaces and begin to share their passions, question things and connect ideas with others. One of my students has recently purchased his own domain name and hosting space. I don’t expect everyone to do that but applaud his efforts. ┬áThe other day he posted a pretty compelling argument that questioned the practice at the school his brother attends. He did not identify the school. I’m sure a little investigation could have revealed the school but this was not the point of the post. His post was meant to illuminate a larger discussion of equity and student recognition. He got several comments and generated some good discussion.

A few days later the principal of the school called him upset with the posting but stated the staff was discussing changing the policy. The principal was upset that Kyle did not come to him privately to discuss the matter. I discussed it with Kyle and we agreed that by posting it online it likely garnered enough attention to warrant a staff discussion. A private conversation may not have.

So the question remains, should he have posted it? Did he break any ethical code? My instinct is to say no to both but I want to throw it out there. I don’t want us to hide behind our blog or use it as a place to rant but a place to converse.

These are the types of conversations and issues that should be discussed. I don’t want my students to shy away from controversy but tackle it. A blog is a great place to get feedback and insights that you may never get in your local context. I’d love all my students to post something that caused schools to consider to change.