One of the most difficult aspects of this to nail down with all of these student sites about to come online is the balance between ownership of content and the safety of anonymity. Right now, I’m finding it to be a very gray area. We want our students to be recognized for the work they do, yet federal and state laws along with district policies restrict how much information we can provide about those students and their work. In addition, all of this means extra steps for teachers who have to check to see if their students have filled out forms and checked the right box, etc. While we’re talking no more than 15 minutes of extra work to make sure everyone is in compliance, the “legal” aspect of doing so takes away some of the fun of all of this, at least for me. Too bad we have to worry about that stuff at all.
It hit home the other day when I had to check off the NJ state form for how much info I would allow Tess’s school to publish about her on it’s Web site. I said yes to picture and name but nothing else. And I wondered if that was the “right” choice. I know this is all more acute for me now because unlike when it was just me and my sites, now it’s about 10 teachers and 150 kids with more on the way, and I know where they’ll be coming if something happens. Sure would be nice just having to deal with whether or not kids are learning and writing and reading better.