Confessional EduBlogging – Exploring Issues
Is there a place for encouraging self-disclosure of this sort in an educational setting?
Is formal education ready to allow for confessional disclosure of interactions between students and their instructors? How would full transparency change educational dialogue?
There are many bloggers dumping their intimate thoughts onto the blogosphere – to seek exposure, to vent, and for a number of other less-than virtuous reasons.
From the outset, I argue that there is no place in education to encourage such irresponsible blogging. The role of an educator is to act as moderator and provide guidance to beginner bloggers to prevent problems from arising. Vengeful, hateful confessional blogging violates students’ rights. It makes learners and instructors vulnerable.
Many issues surrounding confessional blogging is discussed in this post, as well as the comments that follow:
However, educators do need to address the issue of transparency and privacy for student bloggers, giving learners examples of good and bad examples of confessional blogs, and encouraging discussion and debate. Decency, respect, reciprocity, integrity, and other virtues, need to be upheld by educators and their students within an edublogging environment. Poor blogging practices can be examined, and serve as examples for learners on what not to do.
The type of confessional edublogging I would like to consider as a legitimate topic for instruction refers to the creation of a personal diary shared with a few others, in which personal learning processes and impressions are recorded to track events, and map a person’s learning journey over time. It is entirely public in nature.
An example of a teacher’s confessional blog:
A big question arises about privacy – many educators would feel somewhat concerned if everything they pass on to their students is possibly content made public by their students. Many students would be taken aback if the feedback they received about a paper was made public knowledge by their instructors. It is because the potential for misinterpretation is so high. Transparency of interactions between learners and their instructors would change the nature of instruction. It would possibly usher in a completely different set of rules of conduct, with drastically different expectations.
Edublogging would shift the dialogue, and would rework the entire conversation. Although there is high potential for miscommunications, misunderstandings, and distortions between students and educators, the educators and the students would recognize the need for clearer thought, for more concise messages, and pay closer attention to tone, to phrasing of ideas, and an entirely different set of performance skills (negotiation of impressions and identity) would be practised. within edublogging learning spaces.