My wife, after spending the last 10 years as a teacher librarian is back in the classroom. She's doing a fantastic job and has committed to share her students work through her blog. I set her up with posterous and it's working really well. She's posted more than once a day sharing photos, videos and is getting great feedback from students and parents. She'll be shifting to students posting their own work soon.
She told me interesting story today. Each week she does a little warm up activity called "Minute to Win It". She draws names out of a hat to determine the order. Today she realized that the one student that would not get picked today would not take it well. She knew the student was going to cry. Just as she was about to film the other student, the water works began with loud wailing. My wife turned to the student and said, "Do you want people on the internet to see you crying?" She was shocked when the student immediately stopped crying. She didn't need to say another word. She didn't think it would make that much of a difference but it did. Later the 8 year old came to her and said, "Did you erase the part where I was crying?"
It doesn't mean that 8 year olds should not be allowed to cry or show emotion. They absolutely should. But the idea that we see value in learning in public, even at 8 is an increasingly important idea for all. There's a time and place to cry act like a kid. But even kids need to understand there are times to "be on". A blog is a good place for that.
If you don't think that kids get digital identity, guess again. This child goes home every night and sees all classmates and themselves online. They realize it's a public place and wants to show their best selves. A good lesson to consider, even at 8.