Question: Blogging clearly can have educational benefits, but we are having a lot of problems with students blogging inappropriately and harassing other students. Besides blocking these blogging Websites on our school network, what else can we do to combat this problem?
The IT Guy says:
Blocking all blog Websites on the school network actually may not be the best idea given the long-term needs of students. Most students with Internet access at home do not face the same sort of filters as they do at school. Students need to learn responsible and ethical computing behavior, and simply blocking blog sites at school will not accomplish this goal.
Technology seems to be perennially on the side of anarchy while IT goals generally reside on the side of control and behavior management. Despite this inherent tension, the potential benefits of blog software should not be ignored or cast aside. Many schools interested in having some modicum of control and greater awareness over student blog postings are setting up and hosting their own blog servers. Two popular options are: Manila, which costs, and Drupal, which is free open-source software. When a school hosts its own blog servers, network administrators can exercise a greater level of control over student blog content. Try hosting your local blog servers and requiring that students who blog at school use their school-based blog account(s).
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