In this entry at Jeremy Hiebert's site, he makes mention of privacy issues and how that might relate to using weblogs in the classroom. Since this is akin to my need to remain anonomous, I thought I'd comment.
First, as mentioned in my "About" page, I found the offending student's weblog at LiveJournal. I set up a LiveJournal account last year for a project I was working on. Around that same time, I heard students talking about thier LiveJournals in class and asked them why they did it. They said it was a fun way to communicate and share with friends.
So on a whim one evening, I searched for the city in which those students resided. It was not that difficult to ascertain to whom a number of the journals belonged, despite their entire full name not appearing on their Info pages. Oftentimes, though, they would do some survey and write in their full name.
The biggest surprise and scare though was the one entry which glared at me when I scrolled down to read the life-threatening comment with my name clearly mentioned. I immediately printed it and made a few calls to friends in order to calm down. With the help of them then, I had a plan to take to school in order to resolve this surprise.
Well, the surprise was on me when I was finally told some three days later that the district could do nothing. I was asked some ridiculous questions: "Did you tell your students to go to this site?" "Did you assign your students to write a journal?" "Did you inform your students you use that site?" "Did you let the student know you found the offending entry?" And so the student remained in the school district, in my same building, and in my class. It was quite uncomfortable for the remaing three quarters of the school year.
Second, I've thought plenty about using weblogs with students and have read about plenty of people who do. (See some examples in the side bar here.) I know though that it is not for me nor for the district with which I am currently employed. Too many rules and regulations and guidelines and acceptable use policies would hinder any real learning, inquiry, and sharing.
I do indeed see weblogs as a wonderful tool and I personally am enjoying using it as a tool as I am doing. There are many things in my district which do not really promote learning nor innovation (though it is espoused as a district which does do so, along with declaring they are a technologically advanced district) and I am seeing the hypocrisy even more clearly in this larger venue in the district.
I hope someday to be in a district where such advanced and engaging technology use is acceptable and the norm.