I was at a breakfast presentation with Sam Ladner who is a sociologist who looks at how we use the Internet and how companies can effectively market appropriately using social networking tools.
One major issue she spoke about was ‘Audience Segregation’, and she used the example FaceBook’s Beacon where Facebook announced all of your purchases to your Facebook network. Issues were of embarrassment, and the desire to keep some purchases private, or private from some parts of the Network.
What struck me from an educational perspective, is that students don’t have an awareness of audience and the need for audience segregation. Heck, if Facebook isn’t even aware of it, then how can we expect the students to be? But it’s important students learn early on that certain messages may not be appropriate for all audiences, just like we don’t take off all our clothes in doctor’s waiting room, but do so in front of doctor (another of Sam’s illustrations).
What I also like is that a discussion of audience segregation necessarily brings up the important concepts of the permanence, replicability and searchability of Internet content.
Take a few moments and watch Adora Svitak speak about the importance of child-like thinking and the subversion of our inner naysayer.
It is as amazing for her age as it is for her message. She’s only 12 years old and has more poise and intelligence then I could ever muster combining all of the awful wedding speeches I’ve done.
That’s not what I want to talk about. She discusses fostering leadership in children by changing the dynamic in the classroom, by allowing the student to adopt some of the teaching role.
This, often peer to peer model, is something to think about when considering new media literacy. The Internet allows students in other countries to teach other students language, geography and culture. Interest-based networking sites allow students to become a part of communities for science, mechanics, woodshop, writing, photography, and often receive feedback from professionals. Primary documents are available as never before.
This is a difficult way to teach because it puts the teacher in an enabling role rather than a traditional teaching role. It’s difficult because how does one follow the curricula with such a strategy? How does one keep the lesson plan up to date? What of those students who are less prepared for Internet research and self direction?
In my view however, it’s a must; not simply because students will learn well under this methodology but because it is how they will continue to learn post graduation.
Hopefully Klikables can come up with some tools that will enable this approach!
Today is Pink Shirt Day in Canada, where students commemorate the day a pair of brave Nova Scotia teens organized a protest to stop the bullying of a younger student. Seeing the hurt the bullied boy was experiencing, they organized fifty students to wear pink in a show of solidarity. It worked. Not only did the bullying stop, but the bullied boy was shown that he wasn’t alone.
It’s important because it shows how peer bystanders can prevent bullying by standing up for school mates. When bystanders step in, bullying stops.
Here’s your chance to wear pink.
Here’s something I love about the Internet. Instant access to expertise, whether it’s Ted.com or Wikipedia, the sources are innumerable.
Here’s one I found recently, a drawing course by artist Bobby Chiu. He’ll have you drawing profiles in 7 minutes.
Check it out here.
It’s part of the Schoolism.com series, hopefully he’ll post some more free stuff.
The Globe and Mail has a good article ‘What to do when your kid is the bully’. It’s worth a read and has good Canadian statistics from researchers. It is missing one thing, however, which is why?
Why help the bully?
Bullying is still considered to be a school yard program, or at least, the link isn’t obvious between school yard bullying and office bullying, child abuse, and elder abuse. And that link exists. So, why stop your child from bullying? Because when your child goes on to abuse their child, their spouse, or even you, you’ll wonder if there was something you could have done to prevent it.
So, I’ve been waiting for this and can’t wait to try it.
IF:Book , aka, The Institute for the Future of the Book, has created a digital resource of 40 pieces of digital literature.
It’s in beta but you can try it out here.
It’s been piloted in three schools and shown to be effective in promoting reading in reluctant readers. (They also say boys, but frankly, I’d rather they just said reluctant readers.)
Here’s their plug:
HOTBOOK is a digital literature project for Years 8 and 9, designed to run over 6 weeks.
The HOTBOOK software contains 40 short pieces of digital literature (or ‘litch bits’) including poems, play scripts, extracts from novels and non-fiction. Each week you release a new batch of ‘litch bits’, which start with a message from the future by the mysterious Curator.
Danah Boyd wrote an interesting commentary on lying and safety.
It’s an older post, but one I came across in part because I was running along the same thread (but could never have voiced my concerns so well). It got me thinking. I wanted to come up with a better way for kids. A way that isn’t deceptive but actually could help them embrace their online identity while remaining safe.
The concept is an old one and it’s commercial. What would it be like if we taught kids to think of their online presence as their personal brand?
A brand could be something that would stay with them for the rest of their lives. It could also provide the anonymity central to safety. But more importantly it would never be a mask to stand behind, but rather something to polish and cherish. A brand is visual. A brand can elicit feelings and adjectives.
One could say that kids already have these, they’re called avatars. But how many students have considered it an extension of themselves? Part of them. Something that needed to be highly considered. If a student was given one chance to put their brand online and never change it, it would be a very different way of considering online presence. It might be one where people thought before they acted, posted, downloaded, trolled, bullied, etc. Because no one wants to tarnish their brand, and it’s a great alternative to putting up personal information.
A brand can grow to be as important as a name. This may be merely a subtle shift in thinking, but I have found that when I pause before I post, I tend to consider the various interpretations of what I’ve written. I try to protect my own brand.