Audrey Watters is a technology journalist specializing in education technology news. You can follow her on Twitter at @AudreyWatters.
Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg caused quite a stir when, speaking at the
NewSchools Venture Summit, he indicated that he wanted to see kids under 13 be able to join his giant social network.
According to Forbes, Zuckerberg said that COPPA prevented Facebook
from allowing children on the site but "that will be a fight we take on at some point." "My
philosophy," Zuckerberg said, "is that for education, you need to start at a really, really young
Ira Socol is a graduate research and teaching assistant at Michigan State University. He also blogs at SpeEd Change.
Social networking sites like Google+ present powerful classroom opportunities, but they are also designed to create hierarchies.
"Let's face it, [The Social Network] presented [Mark Zuckerberg] as a relentless bully with a computer instead of muscles. It also made Facebook's creation seem like a ploy to get back at a girl, rather than the simple desire to create." -- Mike Eisenberg, ScreenRant
Do you remember the first staff meeting you ever attended? Did you look around the room and wonder who you might be able to work with in the coming weeks, months or years? I remember and can still feel that same sense of apprehension I had about whether or not I would have an opportunity to collaborate. As my first year progressed I found it easy to collaborate with a couple of teachers in subject areas other than mine but for the most part I was alone -- on my own when it came to learning, growing, and developing into the social studies teacher I wanted to be.
Sensory overload comes with the territory at an ISTE conference, and this year's ed-tech gala in Philadelphia was no exception There was plenty to see, between the exhibits, presentations, and must-have devices that attendees were wielding in the Bloggers' Cafe. You couldn't turn around without spotting another QR code to snap.
In 1763, a royal decree was issued from Great Britain to the North American colonists: Do not?do not!?expand west of the Appalachian Mountains. The colonists resented the proclamation, inferring that the British were trying to contain them along the Atlantic Seaboard where control and taxation could be more easily imposed. The King believed his proclamation to be motivated by good intentions, protecting colonists from instigating any more costly wars with Native Americans, for one. But nothing could stop the westward expansion fever. Frontiersmen had already plundered the fish-rich rivers and fertile lands of the west, unspoiled by settlements and tobacco-ruined soil. No matter how many punishments the King and his court imposed, the rules would be subverted. Unofficially, the revolution had begun.
In 2011, social media is the new frontier. Adolescents are the early frontierspersons because they discovered and embraced social media first.
Yesterday I was wavering on whether or not to go for a run outside. I hadn't run in awhile and for some reason I was concerned that I would not be able to eclipse the two mile mark. The temperature was a balmy 31 degrees and there was still a thin layer of snow covering the ground. All of the variables in play suggested I stay home. As I continued to devise excuses not to run, someone very special in my life simply said, "Just get out there."
Students get it. They understand how easy it is to connect with one another, but don't fully realize the greater potential. As educators, we have all benefited greatly from our personal learning network or critical friends group. Some of us have garnered a job, found great content area resources, or tuned in to a conference. But are we transferring that potential to our students? And if so, are we giving them the proper guidance to travel down these varied paths?