We recently hosted a Technology Summit for area schools and invited our participants to submit questions that we didn't address during the day. This was one very interesting question.
I’m not sure we’re at the perfect solution yet, but we do a few things:
I'd love to hear what other people are doing!
I think that a lot of schools/teachers look at social networking as a bad thing or something that can not be used for learning. The reality is that kids even in 3rd grade (I hear) have facebook accounts. I think that by not educating them on the dangers and best practices is the same thing as not teaching them how to add and subtract. I love the idea of having a student ran blog. I was wondering how you keep the students identities safe (do they use aliases) and is this blog open to everyone?
This site http://learninglab.org/ does a really good job with introducing life skills like cyber bullying, self esteem, online safety, etc, taught by the one and only Garfield. I feel a new topic for this website to explore should be social networking.
The newest trend I see happening in the cyber social world and causing the most harm to not only kids but adults is the checking in feature. What this is, is people posting where they are, where they are going, who they are with etc. This check in feature does is by GPS / satellite location and knows where you are and can update your status with one simple tap of the button. The harm this could cause to anyone is kind of scary.
Students need to be taught about these issues at an early age and should be reinforced and taught how to safely use social networking sites. Social networking sites are becoming the way of communication, news acquisition, advice, shopping, and dating. My approach to teaching students about these would be to utilize these social networking tools. I would use twitter to pose questions to encourage micro blogging and meaningful brief discussion. I think if you can get your principal to tweet to his students it will definitely bring his cool factor up with the them and also keep him connected with the students. I think by properly training, modeling, and educating students about social medias, that are not going to be going away, should be the way every school faces these changes. Blocking and banning them just will not do and just further push the two away from each other.
I could probably keep going on and on about this issue
Why not challenge your students to join the National STEM video Challenge.................check it out http://www.stemchallenge.org/
I love the idea of the "free gaming" period in 21 CLC. I'd be interested to hear more about which games are most popular with your students, and if you notice any major trends in the different types of games preferred by different types of students (e.g. boys vs. girls, 10-12 yr-olds vs. 12-14 yr.-olds).