So having Library Journal use a version of this quote above in the Movers & Shakers article and having had my beloved School Library blog blocked this week has made me super sensitive to the challenges & responsibilities we have teaching our kids digital awareness and responsibility.
People, teaching Digital Ed is not OPTIONAL. It's not a frill, and it's not about blocking & filtering it's all about teaching kids ethics & then trusting them to be responsible. According to a recent study & Mashable:
"About 80% of children between the ages of 0 and 5 who use the Internet in the United States do so on at least a weekly basis, according to a report released Monday from education non-profit organizations Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop."So my Sunday mornings are for sipping my favourite Jet Fuel coffee and catching up with my PLN on the Twitters and the afternoon is for blogging. This Sunday the amazing Kathy Kaldenberg or as I follow her on Twitter@scsdmedia posted several excellent articles on social media.
Two articles I'd like to share with you - the first: The Pitfalls and Promises of Social Media and Kids By Tina Barseghian quotes the amazing Eric Sheninger, principal of New Milford High School in Bergen County, New Jersey who thinks privacy and cyberbullying issues are a red herring and that:
“Schools aren’t teaching kids to be digitally responsible,” he said. “We can’t fault kids for doing something wrong on Facebook or Twitter because we’re not teaching them. We need to have digital citizenship curriculum in schools.” - Eric SheningerOf course I had to comment - This is one of the BEST articles I've ever read about this topic! It puts (more eloquently) what I've been preaching for years! From 1999-2006 I preached privacy, safety, net nanny & stranger danger - now I realize it's their peers that are most likely to harass & bully. I did, however, always say that "The most effective, reliable, Internet Safety Filter is an Involved, Informed, and Aware Parent and an Educated and Ethical Kid." Do I get points for that? Because really? It's now more about Internet Awareness than safety because I truly believe that it is the kids who are already "at risk" in real life who are most at risk in their online life. I also strongly believe that Digital Ed for teens is as crucial as Sex Ed for teens - we know they're gonna do it anyway - better with knowledge, discernment, & ethics. Like you said in the article, we must let kids make mistakes & discover for themselves what it means to be a digital citizen.
The other great article was pointed out by Kathy and was written by CoolCatTeacher herself, Viki Davis: Facebook Friending 101 for Schools I would also add Teachers, Kids, Parents & Principals.
Again, I had to comment: This is a brilliant posting! And though "listing" & the new privacy settings can totally tailor your FB experience as Kari said in her comment, I just don't trust Facebook to change, drop, or totally FAIL their interface. Thus, I have a professional FB page I don't visit much plus I started a community page for my Middle School because I want my kids, parents & the community to be able to find our school wherever they might look. Twitter is my PLN home but yeah...If we mean to teach Facebook we have to understand Facebook. But we don't have to love it. LOL
I'm shamelessly gonna snag Viki's excellent related articles
Slides & Photos by Gwyneth Jones