5 Responses

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  1. Barry Dahl January 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm |

    Hi Britt,
    I feel ashamed that I missed what you were doing with the students. I most definitely would have commented on some posts, if I hadn’t been so completely in the dark about what you were doing. Now that my time is my own, I do plan to participate more fully in those types of conversations.

    Don’t know what I can tell you about the lock-down of social learning opportunities in VA. That’s sad and short-sighted. No real consolation to know that it’s not just Virginia going down that road. We need to continue fighting those efforts, hoping that some day we start to gain some ground.

  2. John Hobson January 10, 2011 at 11:30 am |

    Two issues here.

    1. I think it’s probably unrealistic to expect student blogs to generate a lot of comments unless they are great self publicists. Does it matter? If a couple of million students each have a blog, then it’s more likely to be ignored than not. But as an exercise it has lots to commend it. Plus in the past nnone ever read/saw your work but didn’t stop kids trying.

    2. We are in the grip of paranoia over access and use of Web 2.0 and social networking tools. However much you take steps to encourage students to act safe, alas hormones and their famed lack of sense will continue to doom us all. Pushing the concept of a PLE at an Open Evening I was constantly questioned on the risks I was exposing students to if we used a blog or online tools. Yet when I ask the kids how many under 13 are on Facebook it’s almost 100%! So much for parental involvement. As usual they want someone else to blame rather than exercise their own responsibilities.

    We do need to resist this Luddite mentality which will ban everything due to a potential chance however remote that a paedo will abuse it. Maybe involving companies like Microsoft who are very clear about the soft skills their emploees need, which include using social networking and Web 2.0 tools, is the way to resist this agenda.

  3. Visionary Leader January 10, 2011 at 9:04 pm |

    As you so clearly stated banning social networks in schools is certainly not the way to go. My personal motto is ‘Educating Beyond the Classroom’ and through your course I’ve learned so many different routes to take my children through in their quest of learning. One of the solutions is really to teach students some of the pitfalls of technology – making them aware of the pros and cons.
    For example only last week I was talking to my kids (9 and 10 yr olds) about cyber-footprints. Many of them have Facebook accounts but were not aware that electronic posts were traceable. Not enough knowledge but that doesn’t stop them from participating in a social network. Now however they are armed with more information and will indeed make more responsible choices.
    I continue to hope that our lawmakers in schools will cultivate more guidelines and desist from banning access to networks. From experience as a parent and an educator, I know that the more you keep children from discovering by saying ‘no’ or posting restrictions; the more rules they are likely to break to find out. We must encourage trust in our children because as George Eliot said ‘Those who trust us; educate us’

  4. Britt Watwood January 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm |

    Barry – it is a fight worth fighting. Appreciate your thoughts.

    John – good points. There is a huge gap between the reality and the paranoia…and not only parents but many teachers are unaware.

    Janet – it is teachers like you that give me hope!

  5. Conscientious Views January 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm |

    “…a role of education is to prepare children for the world they will inhabit…and increasingly, social media is a part of that world. Guidelines are needed, but flat out bans are the wrong approach.”

    I agree with this statement Sir. One must remember that whether or not we ban, students will still have access to various websites and tools that they may use inappropriately because they have no idea of the consequences. A great example was outlined by the views of Visionary Leader.

    It is typical for many of us to respond by just banning. However, this is not necessarily the correct approach. We should not have a bandage approach. NO! Students need to be educated about the use of the various technology tools. These tools should definitely be used to enhance the teaching and learning environment. Educators such as Vicki Davis showed us that it can work. Guiding, not banning, is the way to go.

    As you quoted above from my blog “…I will not be waiting on the fence where technology is concerned. As Vicki Davis had said in the video that I had outlined earlier “we need to stop waiting on SUPERMAN and be SUPERCAN“. I will definitely be looking on what I can do…”

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