I have subscribed to a fantastic blog for students through the New York Times that has questions during the week that you can use in your classroom for students to either comment to, or write their own blog post. On the last post, they posed the question, “Would you mind if your parents blogged about you?”
Here are some of the responses from students that I thought were extremely interesting:
If my parents finally figured out how to work the internet, I probably would be the one to teach them how to blog in the first place. My parents do get fed up with my sister and I and they need to vent or share the good moments. I would be perfectly fine with my parents blogging about me. As long as they don’t put my cell phone or social security number on it, they can put whatever they want, because that will be all that they will know (wink wink). There are boundaries, and those boundaries are reached to whatever I let them know about me. They know my goals and achievements, but not my personal life, that’s my business.
This comment definitely mirrors a lot of feelings from students that they are the ones that understand technology in the family. This student obviously understands that there are boundaries on using blogging tools and sharing personal information, but I definitely wonder what personal information they would be willing to share without proper role modeling from the adults in the house (full disclosure; I have no idea how old this student is).
I think that parents blogging about their children is just wrong. I can understand posting facebook status that is about an accomplishment or something that you don’t mind people reading. If I want people to know things about me I will blog about it myself, I don’t need my mother to do it for me. I think my mom has enough sense to not do it and if she did I would be very upset about it and make her take it off.
On this comment, you can see that the student definitely wants ownership of what is happening in their lives. As students grow up, we need to ensure that we continuously give them opportunities for ownership in their learning and what is said about them. So many times we are writing assessments, evaluations, etc., about students, but we have to give them more time to write about themselves.
The other reason is that we have to give opportunities for our students to share their thoughts in an open environment where we can gain feedback from them about what is happening in our school and their thoughts. I have done student focus groups, but there is only so much that can be said in these short meetings. We talk about how educators need to openly share their ideas, but what about kids? Currently our students have their own blogs and are getting to share their learning with others. I have enjoyed reading their posts and seeing what they write. It would be great to hear not only about their curriculum, but also give them the opportunity to talk about what is happening in our school, community, and world.
I am looking forward to creating more meaningful opportunities for student sharing.