Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

MySpace and iSafety

Will Richardson is right on in his analysis that educators and schools have a responsibility to help prepare students for Internet access in a non-filtered world. I am not saying schools should not filter content at schools (of course they are required by US law to do so) but I do agree with the following:

My students would be safer if we worked hard to provide our students with some context for their actions and gave them some tools for making good decisions about what and what not to publish. They’d be safer if we educated parents to help them understand what their children are doing and how they can counsel them. They’d be safer if every teacher and administrator and staff member were modeling the benefits of publishing online. They’d be safer if we employed the “reasonable standard of care” that I mentioned yesterday.

For some time, I have been very concerned that schools are “locking down” computers and networks so completely in terms of Internet access, that administrators effectively create an artificial world in which students cannot learn any responsibility or accountability. I refer to this needed trait as “digital discipline.” I have not worked on this particular writing project in awhile, but its importance is only going to grow in the months and years to come.

Miguel Guhlin’s brief foray into the interactive and rather scary world of MySpace (see his entry MySpace.Com First Impressions) raises issues all parents need to be aware of. I don’t have the answer here, but I agree that we need to be aware, concerned and proactive in helping protect as well as prepare students for life in the real world.



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