Today I had an opportunity to co-present with my 6 year old daughter, Rachel, at the Norman Public Library for approximately forty librarians working in the Pioneer Library System of Oklahoma. The topic of our two hour presentation was, “Digital Citizenship in Libraries: Constructively Leveraging the Power of the Social Web.” System librarians have re-evaluated their strict content filtering policies for social networking sites, and are going to provide more open access for both adult and student patrons of their libraries. I was asked to present information and research on the realities and myths of social networking for youth, and highlight examples of the constructive ways youth are using both the social web and digital media. My presentation slides are available (PDF – 1.8 MB) along with links to the resources we discussed.

The highlight of the presentation, IMHO, was Rachel teaching the librarians about the commercial social networking website Club Penguin. Her segment begins in the second video clip below, at minute mark 18:20.

I was able to successfully Ustream the session live and archive the video, but for some reason Ustream split it into two parts. The audio quality was pretty good, since I used my Nady Wireless Mic setup, but I had the Ustream video quality ratcheted down because of a prior test in a location with poorer bandwidth. I wish I’d increased it for today’s Ustream, but at least the entire session did record fine with good audio. I apologize for the graininess of the video, and the fact that the projector’s screen is not readable in the video.

It was a delight to share this presentation and these ideas with Oklahoma public librarians, and again present with one of my children as I’ve been able to do several times this fall. Kids really can be effective communicators about technology topics with adults, and it’s a delight to see my own children developing their confidence and poise speaking in public.

I’m an outspoken advocate for balanced approaches to Internet filtering in our schools, and it’s wonderful to see our Oklahoma librarians recognizing the constructive potential of social and digital media as well as the safety concerns they present. Hopefully more of our K-12 school administrators will get on this bandwagon as well in the months ahead. Many thanks to Robyn Treyvaud, whose presentation “Our 21st Century Challenge: Developing Responsible, Ethical and Resilient Digital Citizens” at the 21st Century Learning @ Hong Kong Conference inspired and informed me this past September.

The first Ustream video segment from today is 31 minutes long.

The second Ustream video segment from today is 1 hour, 28 minutes long.

Last night, thanks to Kevin Jarrett, I learned about an upcoming free webinar on Nov 18, 2009, titled, “The Power of Youth Voice: What Kids Learn When They Create With Digital Media.” Attend it if you can, or our third K-12 Online 2009 LAN Party for the free K-12 Online Conference.

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Made with Love in Oklahoma City