Tuesday, June 14, 2005

blogs & kids & safety

Happy Tuesday all. I'm so intrigued with my new blog that I introduced my fiance's daughter, 14, to blogging last night. Just for fun we sat down and started creating her own personal blog together. As we worked our way through the template together, I started getting those alarm signals that go off when we engage kids with internet technologies that expose them to the world, literally.

I began to worry about who would see her blog, whether she should post a picture of herself, how much personal information she should share, whether others could email her. I talked with her about the need to not disclose her identity--she was already very aware and savvy. After creating her site, we worked through each of the settings, deciding together how much access she wanted others to have.

I was pleased to see that blogger does offer some security for younger users. For example, the ability to comment to her posts is restricted to her members only--those she has invited to her blog. All her family has access to the blog--great for monitoring blog activity. She chose not to make her email address available, and has not included a picture of herself or mentioned her last name.

While all her choices were right, I'm still left with that slightly uneasy feeling about introducing her to blogs in general. Annette Lamb has a great reference site of blogs used for a variety of purposes with kids and otherwise http://escrapbooking.com/blogging/bloggers.htm I'd love to hear from other teachers or parents who have experience with blogs and kids. What are your thoughts?