Controlling Edubloggers – Issues for Teaching Beginners
In response to the thorny issue of whether to moderate blogging posts of students or not, I would like to outline the teaching context I work in. I work as a College instructor of adult literacy. I completely agree with the necessity of creating a safe space for individual learners to begin sharing their ideas with their instructor and with a small group of co-learners.
The provision of such an option for students to voluntarily choose several adult mentors not part of the formal instruction to act as mentors/observers would empower the learner, would offer an authentic learning experience. Providing the learners with choices over who participates in their fledgling learning community changes the nature of moderating. No longer is it a coercive matter, reinforcing the teacher- student power relationship, becomes instead a case of mentoring within a supportive, caring context.
Learners beginning to blog for the first time should not be given free rein within an educational context to publish to the public domain without first participating in such an apprenticeship. Moreover, I do not agree that teachers should unilaterally have the control over the contributions students can or cannot post. Moderation within a supportive group setting is much more inclusive, respectful, and effective, providing a framework for developing learner self-efficacy while interactign meaningfully with an audience of chosen peers/mentors.