Student Blogger’s Bill of Rights
This is a declaration of student bloggers’ rights and responsibilities. The declaration is a trade-off between disclosure and privacy students need to consider when using the edublogging tool.
Learners proceed along a journey which requires them to engage in a series of exchanges of reciprocity with others. If this trade-off between disclosure and privacy is to succeed, and lead to a generation of empowered learners rather than one of reluctant, coerced bloggers, then central principles need to be identified:
1. Students will outline a blogging mission statement, explaining to their intended audiences some of the key reasons why they blog.
2. Students are given assurances of total privacy to disclose personal content to instructors, but are also given assurances they can also choose to not disclose, and instead choose alternate forms of assessment.
3. Students can choose to refuse to participate in activities in which they feel uncomfortable. They can also choose to adopt a pseudo, “blog self”, or alias, and write in another’s voice.
4. Students accept that what is discussed within a private learning space among other students is not intended to be shared outside that learning space, and that students need to respect others’ privacy.
5. Students can opt out of being assessed by instructors if the assessment is based solely on frequency of posts and comments, and instead bargain with their instructors for a more meaningful assessment process;
6. Students can request an external validator/mentor as a role model to act as a guest assessor. Though the instructor holds the final say over assessment, both the student’s and the guest assessor’s feedback is considered;
7. Students determine the extent of self-disclosure, and to whom they will disclose, and for what purposes;
8. Students recognize that other student bloggers have no obligation to respond to their posts, and they in turn have no obligation to respond to others’ posts.
9. Students need to understand that one must first blog for one’s own individual intrinsic reasons, not tied to extrinsic motivations such as completing grading requirements or seeking feedback from others.
10. In cases when students’ intentions are to blog exclusively to meet the course requirements or compete to win a popularity contest, these students should be allowed to opt out of participating in educational blogging entirely.
11. Students outline their own expectations for engagement with others’ ideas – for example, whether it involves one or more of the following activities: reading, commenting, lurking; linking.
12. Students retain posting rights, including the rights to edit, delete, restrict or widen access to their contributions, as well as the right to copy these posts to other personal/public blogs.
13. Students notify other students and peers that comments linked to posts created within a “walled” educational space will be made publicly available, enabling other students to edit or delete potentially sensitive content beforehand.
14. Students recognize that they are answerable for any content created, and recognize their ideas are available in perpetuity once released into the public domain.
15. a)Students accept that their posts using others’ ideas require attribution, either by citing the author and title of the blog, or by linking to the post’s permalink.
b)Students’ posts allow others to redistribute the work for non-commercial purposes without modification. In cases where others seek permission to modify the student’s contribution, any derived work will share share-alike permissions.
16. Students have the right to respond to outsiders’ comments and include those comments and replies as part of their own edublog.
17. Students agree to entrust their ideas to be hosted by the educational institution for up to two years, after which, the institution will notify students that their content will no longer be hosted;
18. Students recognize that the privilege of responding to others in a safe learning space is to be considered a sacred trust, and will never willfully engage in harmful actions, as determined through consensus by the student community through a discussion leading to a student bloggers code of conduct.
19. Students should be assured that their instructors have had experience maintaining their own blogs, and have a positive outlook toward the blogging experience.
20. Students should be assured that their instructors read and respond to their posts if this dialogue is requested. Students also have the option to opt out of group blogs, instead choosing to maintain a personal blog.