Sophomore Global Students Launch Blogs

I’ve been insanely busy in the week since my last post.  I never got around to sending a link to the new post to parents on my email list, so if you’ve been out of touch with me for a couple of weeks, get ready for a lot of information!

I am proud to announce that my sophomore students have worked diligently over the past few days to put up blogs that focus on human rights issues in five geographic areas of the globe.  We have a class blog that is like the central hub for the student blogs, but  as of now, there’s only one post on it explaining the project on which the students collaborated.  I decided to host the blogs on edublogs.org because its focus on educational users and also because it is associated with WordPress.  I figured I would be able to leverage my knowledge of the WordPress platform since I’ve been learning it by trial and error here on teachingcontext.  Looking back over the past three days supporting students as they composed their group blogs, I realize that they are now more skilled at it than I!  I look forward to one day inviting a few of my students to post reflections on their blogging experiences here on this blog.

Our class blog is called modernglobalcommunities.edublogs.org.  When you click on the previous link, a new tab should open and you will see a banner across the top of the page with links to the five student-produced blogs:  Sub-Saharan Africa Watch, Americas & Oceania Watch, Asia Watch, Europe Watch,  & Middle East & North Africa Watch.

Please take some time to look through these blogs.  Please feel welcome to leave a comment.  Our students would love some feedback, especially if you have a question, find a fact-error, or have an issue with something they wrote about.  These are the kinds of comments that they will learn from.

We have taken strides to keep personal information off the blogs, as they are open to the web and indexed by search engines.  Each student was given a unique username that we could all identify each student by, but would not reveal last names to visitors.  I’ve asked students to make sure that photographs taken by students are anonymized as much as possible.

Some sophomore students have taken the initiative to create Twitter accounts for the purpose of marketing their blogs and getting readers to visit their pages.  Some of my sophomore and junior students already have Twitter accounts and some of them use their full names in their profiles. I encourage parents to visit their kid’s Twitter page and to talk to them about internet safety.  Everything on Twitter is open and users should be aware that their profiles are open to all Twitter users, unless the account is set up as “protected.”

I have reminded all of my students lately of our schools internet policy, most importantly to come forward if they receive a message that makes them uncomfortable.  Please help me in reiterating the importance of being careful about what one posts, vigilant about deleting inappropriate comments or followers who are not known, and proactive in standing up to protect the safety and integrity of the community.

Coming next week, an update on how some of my junior students are using web tools for presentations in class…

As always, I appreciate your support and look forward to hearing from you either by email or in the comments that you can post here.

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