Students generally exhibit high levels of motivation to socially communicate. They like to talk with each other, and in our digital world their desire to communicate often has digital forms. Rather than simply blocking all student access to digital social networking tools, teachers and school administrators should seek powerful tools and environments which permit them to help students SAFELY learn how to use digital social networking tools with local as well as global audiences. is a free educational service sponsored by the Oracle Educational Foundation. In this skypecast, Maine elementary educator Cheryl Oakes talks about, the success she and other teachers at Wells Elementary have had using the environment to help students learn about Internet safety and appropriate digital discourse, and offers recommendations for other educators around the globe who may want to start using The service is free, and the opportunities for learning are unlimited.

Program Length: 32 min, 29 sec
File size: 7.8 MB

Podcast 03 May 2006(Click here to listen to this podcast)

Show notes for this podcast include:

  2. Cheryl Oakes’ Blog
  3. School Family Compact for Wells Elementary School (Wells, Maine)
  4. Oracle Education Foundation
  5. Screenshots of the environment

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3 Responses to Podcast57: and Digital Social Networking

  1. Bob Sprankle says:

    Thanks to Wes and Cheryl for bringing this presentation on to us!

    You both did an amazing job in stating the case for using this excellent tool in schools. The purpose is clear: give students the guidance of how to safely and responsibly use social networking tools early on in order to excite and engage them to have global connections/convesations in their work.

    Rather than “hide our heads in the sand” and ignore all the issues of social networking sites (i.e., banning them), schools and parents –in partnership– can help foster appropriate behavior, safety habits, and ethical norms in these environments.

    Kudos to both of you!

    Bob Sprankle

  2. Vicki Davis says:

    This is an excellent podcast that people need to listen to. I blogged about your podcast today after listening.

    You have so many great resources! I hope that I get to hear you speak one day!

  3. […] and social networking – a podcast. […]

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