Blogging and keeping Safe

eSafety Guidance for Schools

Blogging is a fantastic use of digital technology in the classroom, but as with all technologies, you should consider any eSafety implications of using the technology, and build-in appropriate safeguards.

Blogs that can be accessed from the Internet can potentially be read by anyone. The main eSafety consideration is therefore to ensure that pupils do not reveal any personal information about themselves, other pupils or staff that could allow a stranger to work out who they are or where they are.
Many blogs also have the facility for visitors to add comments to posts. This could result in inappropriate comments being left by other pupils or adults, or requests for personal information. You may decide to turn comments off, or hold comments until a member of staff approves them. Depending on the settings of the blog, visitors to your blog may be requested to enter their name and/or email address before being able to post a comment. Pupils should not enter their personal information into any blog when leaving a comment, and you may want to ensure the settings on your blog allow visitors to leave anonymous comments to avoid this.

Schools should also consider how they will control who can post blog entries, and when. Most blogs require a username and password to be entered before entries can be made. However, if pupils are given their own username and password, they may be able to post entries from home without supervision. In particular, for younger pupils you may consider making class entries i.e. class1, year1 usernames on blogs.

In addition, pupils should be reminded that bloggers are liable for the content of their blogs, and they should not only try and ensure any statements or facts are accurate, but also ensure they do not include statements about other people that aren’t true, or are unsubstantiated.

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By default pupils must be logged in with their username and password to post a comment.

All comments will be moderated by the class teacher or administrator before going live.

The ability to post anonymously is turned off.

Suggested Statements for Pupils

Pupils should be reminded of the school’s AUP and any blogging work should follow the AUP agreed by the school.

In addition, you may want to consider creating additional guidance for pupils to refer to when specifically blogging. These could include:

  • Don’t use your full name in posts or comments, make up a screen-name for yourself instead
  • Never include personal information in your posts or comments, remember you don’t know who might read it. This includes your address, telephone numbers, names of family and friends, email addresses or links to personal profiles
  • Use the same language you are expected to use when you are in school
  • You may comment on a post in a blog, but remember to respect other people’s opinions. Do not be rude to, or about, someone else.
  • Think before posting photographs or videos in a blog. They can be downloaded by people you don’t know, even if you delete them later.
  • Before posting photographs or videos with other pupils or staff in
    them, ask their permission first. Don’t include other people’s personal information and make sure photos or videos don’t contain clues that could tell someone who you are or where you are, for instance your school uniform.
  • You are responsible for the information you post, so make sure it is accurate and you are not copying someone else’s work. Do not say things about other people that aren’t true.
  • Blogs contain lots of useful information, but remember they are one person’s opinion. You should try and check any facts you read on a blog with other sources before relying on it.

Podcasting from the blog

Podcasting is a fantastic use of digital technology in the classroom, but as with all technologies, you should consider any eSafety implications of using the technology, and build-in appropriate safeguards.

Podcasts that can be accessed from the Internet can potentially be heard by anyone. The main eSafety consideration is therefore to ensure that pupils do not reveal any personal information about themselves, other pupils or staff that could allow a stranger to work out who they are or where they are.

Depending on the age of the pupils, you can encourage them to build in eSafety considerations into the planning stage for their podcasts. Ask them, when planning or scripting their podcasts, what they have done to ensure they have kept themselves safe in the podcast. A simple and fun example can be to make sure all pupils choose a DJ name that they use instead of their real name.

In addition, pupils should be reminded that podcasters are liable for the content of their podcasts, and they should not only try and ensure any statements or facts are accurate, but also ensure they do not include statements about other people that aren’t true, or are unsubstantiated.

Suggested Statements for Pupils

Pupils should be reminded of the school’s AUP and any podcasting work should follow the AUP agreed by the school.

In addition, you may want to consider creating additional guidance for pupils to refer to when specifically podcasting. These could include:

  • Don’t use your full name when recording podcasts, make up a DJ name for yourself instead
  • Never include personal information in your podcasts, remember you don’t know who might listen to it. This includes your address, telephone numbers, names of family and friends, and email addresses.
  • You are responsible for the information you include in a podcast, so make sure it is accurate and you are not copying someone else’s work. Do not say things about other people that aren’t true.
  • Podcasts contain lots of useful information, but remember they are the author’s opinion. You should try and check any facts you hear in a podcast with other sources before relying on it.

You should choose statements that reflect the work your pupils are engaged in, and adapt them to reflect the age of the pupils.

Further online safety advice is available from:

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and the SWGfL website.