First of all, I have to apologize for dropping out of the blogosphere for nearly two months. Apparently I was not missed. I received to comments and none of my colleagues who supposedly subscribe to my feed noticed. I guess it’s because they dropped of the radar too. Holidays tend to have that effect on people. I decided to be that new blip on the radar after an invigorating weekend at work. (Yes I used ‘invigorating’ and ‘weekend at work’ in the same sentence.
I worked with a dozen of my trainers in an effort to build a solid foundation of research and best practices for three new summer programs. Each one has a particular tech focus. The topics include:
- web 2.0 in today’s classroom
- creating a 21st century classroom (changing practices)
- using technology with Marzano’s nine trategies that work
I can’t be a hipocrit. I need to practice what I preach. Blogging is not some trendy practice that should take place to polish someone’s online presence, but rather be just one of many ways a person’s voice can be heard in the world. This brings me to my next topic: social networks.
Over the past 2-3 months, Facebook, MySpace, and other social profile sites have gotten attention. This time it is not NBC’s To catch a predator. This time it has to do with individuals speaking their minds freely. It isn’t just all people speaking, but people that are involved in education. The two big offenders seem to be young adults trying to enter or graduate from college and established classroom teachers letting off a little steam. I started to write this piece in November, but did not want to leave a bitter taste in my readers’ mouths.
There are two issues at hand here. I’ll begin with the young adults. Students exiting high school have just come through an extraordinary point in their lives. They are learning independence, how to contribute to society (for good and bad), and how to have a presence in the read/write web. For whatever reasons, many young adults share inappropriate comments, pictures, and videos with a group of friends. No big deal…that’s the life of a 16 year old. The problem lies within the power of ‘friends of friends.’ All of sudden Johnny’s comment, sent to Billy, is seen by Billy’s sister, and then back to Johnny’s sister, who tells Mom. Try the Friend Wheel application at Facebook. (see similar Delicious tool) This is much different than kids 30 years ago. The only major difference is the medium. It’s no longer the rotary dial phone in the kitchen. College advisory boards are now looking at social profiling their potential students prior to accepting them into their prestigious university. Is this fair to students? They have gone through a point in their life that they (most likely) will grow through as they go through college. Those that don’t get caught on the other end as they attempt to establish a career at a business, school, or higher ed institution that screens them once again.
The latest news around here has been about local teachers losing their job, teaching license, or reputation because they were a little too careless about how they spoke about their day at work. What are your thoughts on Facebook as a tool for educators / professionals/ people wanting to be taken seriously? I do agree that there is a line of professionalism that teachers must walk carefully, that includes paying closer attention to what we say while we are online. It’s not long before a platform like OpenID proliferates all of the tools so that one account grants you access to dozens of aliases and the comments you leave – like a trail of breadcrumbs.