The Social Networking "Fear"

Recently there has been a slew of articles posted throughout the world wide web on the values and disadvantages of social networking sites.  Sites that are commonly banned in many districts. These sites would include Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Myspace (If that's still popular...It's fading fast).  Three of these are banned in my current district and they were also banned in my previous district. Banned with a fear of lack of control or in a recently published book a fear of the events replaying live in their own school. The book "Reconstructing Amelia" by Kimberely McCreight where social networking driving students to unbearable harassment of each other (Soon to be a  movie ...must read soon).

Teaching technology I struggle with this idea.  I understand many of the problems that can be unleashed, but also believe in teaching digital citizenship.  How do we show students how to lock down their privacy settings when we can't let them try in school? How do we teach internet safety when we can only vaguely show them material.  I give a HUGE shout out to Common Sense Media for beginning to break down these barriers.  I have used many of these lessons in my classroom and the discussions students had were phenomenal.  The students went as far as "googling" themselves and some their parents...(That was unexpected on my part and unleashed more material than I cared to see. Lesson learned I guess...So if you as an educator try it be warned students will start "googling" everyone they know)  (LOVE this Site!)

Recently I read an article that stated a district was going to be less restrictive with bans allowing educators to access Facebook as a tool of reaching communities etc. The article can be found here,0,3595428.story  This is a great step, but why not go all the way?  Let's start young children with Edmodo,, and progressively prepare them for Facebook or whatever the next social media support is.  This way students get experience for safety, communications, and can see the pro's of networking. Most employers have a site and check it actively!!!  It will also help address the age limits of Facebook and place children on a site that is safe and can be cool because they will have grown with it.

As a student stated in the Edscape Conference "Are we teaching for yesterday or tomorrow?"
Educators need to be pushing for relevance and principals, admins, and higher need to open the door and teach the responsibilities to limit their fears of what could happen and allow students to be ready for tomorrow not yesterday.


Popular Posts