This article is a continuation of my previous post. In that post, I offered insight into what students think about blogging. To gain feedback, I had provided seventy five Grade 7 and 8 students with a survey after the blogging unit. In the previous post, I outlined some of their responses. Here are their remaining responses to the last three questions.
Digital citizenship was a concept interwoven into the blogging activities. We had discussed how to communicate appropriately when blogging. A Blogging Agreement and Commenting Guideline were two documents used to support learning. As well, there was a Digital Footprint bulletin board created to emphasize that what is posted online can be tracked. Commenting Rules were posted in the computer lab and were referred to often.
Did any of these efforts resonate with students. Did they understand the importance of being a good digital citizen? To find out students were asked two open-ended questions. I have posted some of the responses to show the range.
A good digital citizen is someone that uses technology responsibly. What things did you need to do to be a good digital citizen when blogging?
- Think before you comment and only write something that you would say to the person’s face.
- I took into consideration others and how they would respond.
- I had to make sure that I kept the privacy of others.
- Share your personal experiences but don’t tell your personal info.
- Be polite, yet honest.
- Do research a lot, give reasons when hating on something.
Do you think it is important to be a good digital citizen? Why or why not?
- Yes, because the whole world can see what you are blogging about.
- Yes, I think it is important to be a good digital citizen because I think it reflects what kind of person you are.
- Yes, because it is important to not be mean or rude because that can lead to cyberbullying.
- Yes, because it can affect your reputation.
- Yes, I think it is important to be a good digital citizen because whatever you do can be traced back to you and that could look bad on you.
- Yes, because in this generation, the Internet is becoming more and more popular and we revolve around it.
NOTE: Only one student stated that being a good digital citizen was not important. They wrote, “No, Internet isn’t all life”.
The responses affirmed that students did understand the importance of digital citizenship. Often people can recite the rules but they don’t necessarily follow them. I found that students were able to write posts and comments that respected the need for privacy, they learned how to be polite yet truthful, and over time they were able to write appropriate comments. I am hopeful that they will be able transfer these skills outside of school to other forms of social media.
Share your opinion about the blogging unit.
I wanted to give students an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas about the blogging unit. Here is what they had to say:
- I liked the blogging unit. It was a fun way to write about things that interest you.
- It wasn’t my favorite at first but now I’m starting to like it.
- I loved it. I wish I could have my own blog, or at least do this unit forever and ever.
- I enjoyed blogging even though I don’t like writing. It was a good class and I enjoyed it.
- I think that we should have made the unit longer and put more time into our posts.
- I always looked forward to it after gym. It was one of my favorite subjects!
Did everyone like the blogging unit? There was some negative feedback, which I appreciated because it indicated that students felt comfortable answering this question honestly. Here is what some students had to say:
- I didn’t learn much, but I wouldn’t have learned anything anyways from the units we would have done.
- It’s okay. I found it boring at times but overall it was okay.
- Not my favorite, I was not challenged.
- I didn’t really like it considering I never blog. I use Instagram.
I appreciated the students’ taking the time to answer the Blogging Unit survey. I was happy to see that learning had taken place. My opinion was that blogging is a worthwhile creative writing unit that had educational value.