I recently read a blog about the importance of others commenting and reading the material we blog about (click here). Although I couldn't agree more about the importance of feedback, I also wonder about students who are not comfortable sharing their work. This blog mentioned that the teacher is often the only person reading elementary school students' journals. When I was a kid, I personally liked the fact that my teacher was the only person reading my work.
In contrast, blogging allows students to read each other's work and receive valuable comments. While this is extremely important, I wonder about the students who might not want what they write to be publicized. Journaling may be a personal time for students to reflect and share thoughts they may otherwise not want to. While I love the idea of sharing and agree that it spreads new ideas, how do we accomodate those students who prefer to keep their writing to themselves? Yes, these students should learn how to share some of their work, but respecting their privacy is also important. I am particularly concerned about one of my students who is already having many self-esteem issues and family problems, who I think would be much more likely to share his feelings in a personal journal, as opposed to a public blog. Should we give students the opportunity to do both personal journals in class, as well as blog? If so, would doing both take up too much time?