Sample Permission to Blog Letter

Dear Families:

For the next several months, our classes will be taking part in a technology-writing program designed to help them develop their writing and explore their interests by sharing their writing with a real audience. Students will be using Weblogs to post their writing to the Internet. A Weblog, or blog as they are commonly called, is a special type of Web page that can be created and easily updated using a Web browser. Each entry has a comments section where visitors to the blog may leave comments for the author. This project is aligned with the standards of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and is designed to introduce aspects of technology and writing in new and exciting ways, and also provides teachers with a real opportunity to talk to students about safety on the Internet.

How Making Connections Works
Our school is part of an innovative project called Making Connections, which is run by the Western Massachusetts Writing Project. This is the second year that the program has been underway and it is designed to create an online writing communities for students in designated schools in Western Massachusetts. This year, the school districts involved are Athol, Holyoke, Southampton, South Hadley, Great Falls and Chicopee. Parts of the community will be working with science-based writing and parts of the community will be working with Language Arts activities. There will also be a puzzle challenge site as an optional resource for student bloggers.

Having a real audience is one of the key components to this program. In addition to receiving comments from their classmates, our students will receive comments from other students who are part of the Making Connections program. For example, the science-based Weblog group has four different schools where students will be doing a similar experiment and then collecting and analyzing the data. In the Language Arts Weblog group, students will be writing poetry and memoir pieces and then reading and reacting to other people's writing.

Security and Safety
This blogging project is designed to minimize risk to your child. The only personally identifying information included in the blog will be their first name. All of the Weblogs in Making Connections are CLOSED to the public. Students are allowed to post their interests and opinions, but not their age, email address, or other sensitive information. Teachers will be monitoring writing on a regular basis.

Before your child may start posting to their blog, we are asking for you and your child to discuss and sign the following form. Please return the form to the teacher.

Blogging Terms and Conditions
1. Students using blogs are expected to act safely by keeping personal information out of their posts. You agree to not post or give out your family name, password, user name, home address, or other information that could help someone locate or contact you in person. You may share your interests, ideas and preferences.
2. Students using blogs agree not to share their user name or password with anyone besides their teachers and parents. You agree to never log in as another student.
3. Students using blogs are expected to treat blogspaces as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for your blog. While we encourage you to engage in debate and conversation with other bloggers, we also expect that you will conduct yourself in a manner reflective of a representative of this school.
4. Student blogs are to be a forum for student expression. However, they are first and foremost a tool for learning, and as such will sometimes be constrained by the various requirements and rules of classroom teachers. Students are welcome to post on any school-appropriate subject.
5. Students blogs are to be a vehicle for sharing student writing with real audiences. Most visitors to your blog who leave comments will leave respectful, helpful messages. If you receive a comment that makes you feel uncomfortable or is not respectful, tell your teacher right away. Do not respond to the comment.
6. Students using blogs take good care of the computers.
7. Students who do not abide by these terms and conditions may lose their opportunity to take part in this project.

I have read and understood these blogging terms and conditions. I agree to uphold them.

student’s signature:_ date:

parent’s signature:__ date: