Scenario: Let's say you end up getting a phone call this spring from the superintenant of the school division you've always dreamed of working for. You knew the interview had gone well, and you were expecting this call. However, as he offers you the job, you remember one part of the interview that makes you sick to your stomach. As a graduate of Brandon University, you had the chance of taking the course Internet for Educators with Mike Nantais. It was this course that influenced you and got you thinking about how to implement your teaching philosophy and the value of reflection. Your whole teaching philosophy revolves around creating Personal Learning Networks for students and getting them to reflect and comment on each others learning experiences in an authentic way, through blogging. You remember in the interview that as you shared your idea of getting students to blog, there was a sense of apprehension in the room. You were then informed that the school division had a policy banning ALL social networking sites, including sites such as blogger, because of the inappropriate material posted by students in the past. As the superintendent waits for your response to the job offer, you wonder if you should keep looking for a division that is more suited to your vision of getting students to blog.
Solution: No fear, accept the job and introduce your new administration to edublogs, a blogging website designed with educators in mind. It is safe, reliable, student friendly, and usually allowed by most school filters where other blogging platforms are not. If your school division is a little more liberal on the filtering, edublogs allows for video embedding, Facebook and Twitter integration, and calendars. It also has great teacher support through email and phone. While it is free to open a blog, the only catch is that to open up all of the features, there is a small fee. However, if the school division is firm on filtering and protecting students from websites and online content that they deem harmful, this small investment will ensure students still get the learning benefits of blogging while still being protected.