Commenting Guidelines...

The Art and Aspirations of a Commenter 

I believe in the power of a free exchange of ideas. I also recognize that words or access to
some information can be of harm to others, intentionally or unintentionally. As a
commenter, I therefore aspire to participate responsibly in the great online conversation

* treating all bloggers with respect.

* seeking first to understand what is being said.

* celebrating another's accomplishments.

* using school appropriate language.

* rephrasing ideas in the blog that made me think, made me feel, or helped me learn
to let the blogger know his/her voice has been heard.

* commenting specifically and positively, without criticism. If I disagree, I will
comment appropriately, politely stating my perspective.

* being mindful always that I may be a role model to my audience, especially if they 
are younger than I.

* making no reference to, link to, and/or giving access to any information that may 
 be inappropriate for a school setting.

* asking at least one question in my comment with the hopes of continuing a
conversation and deepening thinking.

* using a triple check before submitting any comment: Would I be happy to have my 
mother read this comment? My grandmother? My favorite teacher?

Advice for parents

  • Explain that nothing is really private. No matter what kids think. Privacy settings aren’t infallible. It’s up to kids to protect themselves by thinking twice before they post something that could damage their reputation or that someone else could use to embarrass or hurt them.
  • Teach kids to keep personal information private. Help kids define what information is important for them to keep private when they're online. We recommend that kids not share their addresses, phone numbers, or birth dates.
  • Make sure your kids use privacy settings on their social network pages.Encourage kids to really think about the nature of their relationships (close friends, family, acquaintances, strangers) and adjust their privacy settings accordingly.
  • Remind kids to protect their friends' privacy. Passing along a rumor or identifying someone in a picture (called "tagging") affects their privacy. If your kids are tagged in friends’ photos, they can ask to have the photos or the tags removed. But there’s not too much they can do beyond that.
  • Establish a few hard-and-fast rules about posting. Set up clear guidelines about what you will and will not allow regarding photographs and activities posted on the internet.
  • Remind kids that the Golden Rule applies. What goes around comes around. If kids spread a rumor or talk trash about a teacher, they can't assume that what they post will stay private. Whatever they say can come back to haunt them in more ways than they can imagine.
  • Help kids think long term. Everything leaves a digital footprint. Whatever gets created may never go away. If they don’t want tosee it tomorrow, they'd better not post it today.