Class blogs & cigarettes: Is free in return for ads OK?

Spotted on a blog for a class of 8 year olds using a free blog service today by one of my students…

The service providing these free blogs used by children to share their learning is running a rolling selection of adverts under every post, including the one above. Of note is that fact I wasn’t seeing this due to having an ad blocker installed, so was heartily recommending said provider to my students for running their own class blogs. No longer.

To be fair this is a not a service designed specifically for schools or education.

So this is an extreme example, but it raises the question ‘Is it ethical to subject children to advertising in school in return for free web services?‘.








4 responses to “Class blogs & cigarettes: Is free in return for ads OK?”

  1. Julia Skinner Avatar

    I wouldn’t have it on my blog so definitely wouldn’t have it on the children’s. I think having advertising is really difficult because you are at the mercy of the company to post whatever they like even if they seemed OK when you signed them up.

  2. Sophie Bessemer Avatar

    I feel quite strongly on this one (as you’d imagine working with a lot of clients on programmes and resources that are sponsored appropriately and to add educational value – in our opinion)… Anyone accepting adverts should have approval over what those adverts are. If they’re for other educational resources, appropriate websites etc, that’s fine. Unfettered, unmonitored access to ad space on a class blog should never be allowed.

  3. John McLear Avatar

    I wrote about the impacts of Adverts on ads in schools back in 2011, you might enjoy it 🙂 The piece is a bit anti-capitalist but with a scientific reasoning.

    PrimaryBlogger doesn’t have ads and provides free blogs for schools so we know they aren’t needed to provide a sustainable service.

    1. oliverquinlan Avatar

      Thanks John, that’s an interesting piece. It’s an ethical dilemma that came to mind again recently when a colleague used a youtube video in a lecture which was preceded by an ad. Made me wonder how many adverts school age learners sit through in their classes.

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