While I am an outspoken advocate for the constructive uses of blogs, wikis, podcasts, cell phones, and other types of read/write web services and digital technologies to support learning both inside and outside the classroom, it is also VERY important for teachers to understand and respect local school board policies which may exist regarding these tools. Advocating for school change by using potentially disruptive, digital technologies for teaching and learning can and SHOULD attract the attention of others, including school district leaders, but no one wants to attract the NEGATIVE attention of a school leader who is ANGRY because a district policy has been violated. In the video “District Policies Regarding Blogs and Wikis, “ YouTube user gfrancomtube created a remix of a 1950s video about parenting and father-son confrontations to make this point effectively with humor:
The video “Blogs and the Juvenile Delinquent” makes some similar points, including advocacy for “walled garden” use of social networking tools in schools, including blogs and wikis:
The question of whether to permit students and teachers to create and share content on the closed web (inside a “walled garden”) and on the open web is a CRITICAL one for all our school board leaders and administrators to discuss. Hopefully those discussions can include LOTS of input from various stakeholders, including students and teachers. Miguel Guhlin and I addressed this question last November in our TechForum presentation, “Empowering and Protecting Tomorrow’s Digital Citizens.” Miguel’s wiki article and link list, “Creating the Walled Garden: Setting Up Web 2.0 Apps on School District Servers,” is also a good resource to utilize when forming opinions about walled gardens and seeking tools to utilize in implementing read/write web environments in schools for learners.
My personal view is that students as well as teachers SHOULD be permitted and encouraged to constructively and appropriately publish content on the OPEN WEB. That opinion, unfortunately, is currently NOT part of the school board policies of most school districts in which and with which I now work.
I’ve added both these videos to my “Videos for PD” blog page, under the category “Web 2.0.” (These could also fit under the category “Humor,” but such are the constraints of organization by taxonomy rather than folksonomy.)
Both of these videos raise the specter of “Internet predators” as a reason to support “walled garden” social networking and read/write web publishing, rather than “open web” publishing. As I’ve written and said many times before, the danger and threat of online predators is sometimes blown out of proportion by the media as well as by well-intentioned leaders. (Even educational technology conference speakers, in some cases.) Have any students actually been contacted by an Internet predator as a result of something they have written on a school-sponsored blog, wiki, or other social website? I have NEVER encountered a case where that has happened. Educational social networking sites like Think.com ARE “walled gardens,” but plenty of tools “out there” (like Class Blogmeister) permit the TEACHER to decide the level of open publication as well as permitted online interaction. I like these videos and think they could be useful for stimulating conversations with adults as well as young people about these topics, but I would caution everyone to (again) not over-estimate the Internet predator risk in the context of school blogging, use of wikis, and social networking.
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- Advice for Responding to and Protecting Against Phishing Email Attacks - 2019
- Visualize Tweets on a Map with Avian for AppleTV - 2017
- FaceTime Connection During a Tornado Warning - 2015
- Oklahomans Against High Stakes Testing Worship - 2012
- Unwrapping Common Core State Standards and Unit Planning (Deer Creek Public Schools) - 2012
- Flip Video Session Recording - With a Tripod! - 2010
- Forget the iPad - The MacBook Wheel is what you really want - 2010
- The Thursday Folder and Worksheet Measured Learning - 2009
- Join the Digital Literacy debate - Live! - 2009
- Exploring differences in preteen social networking sites - 2008