South Australian educational blog shut down

Monday, March 17, 2008

South Australian primary school teacher Al Upton was ordered to shut down an educational blogging initiative last week following a directive from the South Australian Department of Education. Al Upton is internationally recognised for his educational blogging efforts over the past 5 years, but his recent project known as The Minilegends has attracted concerns from parents generally relating to interactions between children and adults online.

As yet there is not an official statement from the Department or a Parents committee, however friends and colleagues of Upton are endeavouring to keep people informed of progress.

Upton originally had support from his school for the effort and had sought permission from the parents for the MiniLegends initiative. Upon inviting his teacher colleagues to interact with his students online, some parents became concerned by the interactions their children were having with adults online. Upon receiving the complaint, the Department ordered Upton to close the initiative.

Upton is urging educational bloggers around the world to focus on what they can learn from the case, and to help him to raise awareness of the benefits of blogging to education generally. Upton is receiving increasing amounts of support and solidarity from the educational blogging community, while the Department is attracting increasing criticism for its handling of the case.

Upton will meet with Department representatives later this week.

A conference for all involved and all with interest in this issue is being organised in South Australia.