Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Social Networking and Words of Caution

In a timely and thoughtful post on Edutopia, Ira Socol outlines the pitfalls of social networking in general and specifically the pitfalls it can hold for schools. While we have no plans to incorporate social networks like Facebook or Twitter into our classes, it would be naive for us not to realize the huge role they play in our students' lives. Additionally, it would be ridiculous for us not to realize how blurred the line between home and school becomes as a result of these new social networks.

It is scary to think how the pervasive connectedness of this age exacerbates the trials and tribulations of social navigation in adolescence. For us, the bad day ended when we got home. Few bullies were bold enough to call the house to continue the bullying. However, as Ira Socol points out, with the advent of social networks (not to mention texting, IM, etc.) there simply is no escape.

The parent-school partnership thus must be strong to be able to outline and enforce certain boundaries and standards of operation as it relates to how our students interact with each other digitally. As I've mentioned before, the number one thing we can still instill in our students and that cross personal and digital boundaries are our values.

Social networking will not go away. In fact, the work life our students are preparing for will probably be based largely on digital networking. We should not shun it. We should use it and prepare students for it, but with a healthy dose of caution. As with any advance in life, the role of the adults in providing structure is pivotal in creating responsible, ethical, and respectful citizens whether it be face-to-face or screen-to-screen.

Check out the post here:

Google +: The Dark Side of the Circle

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