Please Explain – VLEs!

You know when things are going along swimmingly and then suddenly you are brought up sharp? Well that happened to me last week. The work that I am doing with schools has led me to make assumptions about blogging in general terms. I assume that lots of schools have heard of and are actively engaged in establishing class blogs. Certainly some of them are truly amazing with the type of work that is being produced and what activities the children are able to take part in.
The 100 Word Challenge has brought me into contact with some wonderful people. It’s fame is spreading and it is so good to be contacted by keen practitioners wanting to join in. I was however quite shocked when one such ‘keener’ told me they were not allowed to set up a class blog. The school policy was to restrict access to the internal VLE and that there was no way the outside world could be let in. The children would do the 100WC but their audience would be ‘in house’. When I asked the rationale behind this decision, I was told it was down to internet safety.
I felt so disappointed for the children. They will work so hard on their pieces and will get comments but they will be from their class mates who will be working on the same challenge. It has the feel of recycling washing up water. Don’t get me wrong – I know that receiving comments is crucial but we also have to think about the purpose of commenting and the value to the receiver.
I also understand about keeping the children safe. Class blogs are so well established now, that the safety aspects have been trialled and the best approach available to take up.
Maybe you could help me understand why this positivity is being restricted? I’m sure there is more to it than I have gathered so do leave me a comment to help me clarify my thoughts!

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