Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Still Climbing the Steep Learning Curve

Last night, yet another learning experience arose in which the adults learned far more than the children are probably learning from this experience. At some point, that will alarm me, but not yet.

It all began so simply. Our administrator was kind enough to drop into the blogs and leave lengthy, humorous comments. The problem arose when she signed it only as "a faculty member at ___" and listed the name of our school.

She was having a great time, and knew the children would have fun trying to figure out who had left the messages. Because we are all so new to blogging, we did not immediately spot two potential problems that Tammy and I eventually identified.
  1. She had listed the name of our school, which is something we had taught our students that they may not do for safety reasons.
  2. She had posted anonymously from within the school.
Our guests will need to use the anonymous option to leave their comments, since they do not have Blogger accounts, but we have asked them to sign their first names and the country they are writing from. We have asked our students to sign in before leaving comments because they should proudly own their words and be identified as the authors of them. We do not want them leaving unsigned comments for each other-- we've all had too much experience over the years of note passing gone bad and damaging the community rather than building it. We had no desire to replicate those problems here.

Once Tammy spoke with her, our administrator was worried about her comments. At that point we discovered that if you leave an anonymous comment, you cannot go back in and edit or delete it. Fortunately, since we have the students' passwords, we are able to go, copy the comment, publish it as new comment sans the troublesome moniker, and delete the original. Luckily, our administrator only had time to leave 5 comments, and our students won't be blogging again until tomorrow.

We've further learned that we need to go in and set all the blogs to e-mail the comments to Tammy as they are posted. She won't get them first and be able to prevent them from being posted, as she could with BlogMeister, but at least she will have a quick heads up in case any other problem comments are posted. -- We'd planned on doing that we when set them up, but somehow it didn't happen. As I said at the start, it was yet another learning experience for us.