Introduction

The Internet is the largest collection of ideas and possibilities, the most precise resource, the constantly changing face of our culture. But just as with any great resource, it has its dark recesses, those places where social norms do not exist and destructive ideas fester. We should not take the dark recesses of the Internet lightly nor should we simply cower in fear of them. We should, rather, illuminate and discuss them so that awareness and knowledge can purge these harmful ideas from their often-influential position. If we remain unorganized and uninformed, the unsavory parts of the Internet will continue to pervert our collective intelligence and potential and transform it into something downright scary. I am, of course, talking about online bullying, Internet predators, and cyber harassment.
The Academy of Discovery is dedicated to creating a community of parents, teachers, and students that are positioned to make the Internet safe for all students. This community of informed individuals will help students to make better decisions about online activities, to know what is appropriate internet/computer behavior both in and out of school, and to set expectations for one another in terms of supervision and support.

The Discovery Online Code (DOC)

This Online Code was established by the Discovery Team at Cresthill Middle School. It creates an online working environment that is:
  • Without fear (of insult, of reprisal, of dishonesty).
  • Scholastic.
  • Based upon protection (of personal information, of identity, of unique thoughts).
  • Creative, non-restrictive, tolerant, and sensitive.

This Code, which is outlined below, aims to extend other classroom blogging guidelines already in place in classrooms around the country ( Jeanne Simpson, Karl Fisch, Anne Davis, and Darren Kuropatwa). It is, however, unique to Cresthill and her students because it was generated and self-selected by 2006-2007 Discovery team students.

The DOC

2006-2007

Public Communication is defined as:
  • All work that is done at school. (Anyone can turn around and look at your computer.)
  • All text, images, video, and audio that can be seen by any computer connected to the internet.
  • All text, images, video, and audio that has the intended audience of more than a few people.
  • All text, images, video and audio that adds to a particular user's web presence/reputation.

Private Communication is defined as:
  • All text, images, video, and audio that can only be seen by computers with particular levels of access (accounts, permissions, etc.).
  • All text, images, video, and audio that has the intended audience of no more than a few people (usually one person).
  • All text, images, video and audio that would have little affect on a particular user's web presence/reputation.


  1. I will never post any information more personal than my first name nor will I post pictures of myself.
  2. I will not plagiarize, instead I will expand on others' ideas and give credit where it is due.
  3. I will use language appropriate for school.
  4. I will not insult my fellow students or their writing.
  5. I will only post pieces that I am comfortable with everyone seeing; other pieces I will keep as drafts.
  6. I will not be afraid to express my ideas, while not overgeneralizing or making derogatory/inflammatory remarks; any posts or edits on controversial issues must either be submitted to Mr. Wilkoff prior to posting or be a part of a classroom project/question which addresses controversial issues.
  7. I will use constructive/productive/purposeful criticism, supporting any idea, comment, or critique I have with evidence.
  8. I will take all online content creation seriously, posting only things that are meaningful and taking my time when I write.
  9. I will try to spell everything correctly.
  10. I will not use my public writing (blog posts, comments, discussion topics, wiki edits) as a chat room, instead, I will save IM language for private conversations.
  11. I will not bully others in my blog posts or in my comments.
  12. I will never access another student's account in order to pose as them or look at their personal content, but I will advise them when they haven't logged out of their computer from my own account.
  13. I will be proactive in monitoring the comments that others leave on my blog, utilizing the comment blacklist if necessary.
  14. I will personalize my blog and keep my writing authentic, while taking responsibility for anything blogged in my name.
  15. I will not provoke other students in my blog posts or comments.
  16. I will use my online content as an extension of the classroom, and in doing so, I will leave anything that unsaid in the classroom unsaid online.
  17. I will only post photos which are school appropriate and either in the creative commons or correctly cited.
  18. I will not spam (including, but not limited to meaningless messages, mass messages, and repetitive messages)
  19. I will only post comments on posts that I have fully read, rather than just skimmed.
  20. I will respect the public nature of online information, and in doing so, I will respect the wishes of my fellow students for keeping their information (full name, compromising stories, etc.) private.

Infractions of these rules will lead to the following consequences in order of severity and number of offense:
  1. Letter of apology to those offended by the infraction(individual students, one core class, or whole blogging community),warning by teacher, and editing or deletion of offending post/comment.
  2. Letter of apology to those offended by the infraction(individual students, one core class, or whole blogging community),temporary loss of blogging privileges (duration of quarter), editing or deletion of offending post/comment.
  3. Letter of apology to those offended by the infraction (individual students, one core class, or whole blogging community), permanent loss of blogging privileges(duration of school year), editing or deletion of offending post/comment.

The process by which blog posts violating rules 3, 10, or posts of a controversial nature may be used:
  1. Students present the idea/draft for Mr. Wilkoff's consideration.
  2. Mr. Wilkoff will either accept or reject the writing based upon its merit on a case by case basis.
  3. The student will post the piece of writing with this warning: "This piece of writing is authentic in its use of controversial language/topics."
  4. Mr.Wilkoff will post a heading: "This blog post was accepted by Mr.Wilkoff for use as a Weekly Authentic despite its controversial nature."

Introductions to Internet Safety:


Cyber-Bullying and Harassment:


What to do about Myspace:

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