Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Social Software

My grade nine students finished their presentations of the advantages and disadvantages of using social software, specifically Facebook, before Christmas. Some of them uploaded their finished presentations onto Slide Share. Basically most of them really didn't care whether it was allowed at school or not. There were two or three that felt strongly that they should be able to access it at school, mainly because they didn't have high speed internet at home. There were a few more that felt that it should not be allowed at school, and most of these reasons included the inappropriate language and alcohol pictures. Some felt that it has become a huge popularity contest, where some kids were just not allowed to be a part of the Network. This I found interesting; it was something that I had not thought alot about until we started the project. The rest of the class really didn't care one way or another; they could understand why it might be blocked and since then the issue has resolved itself. I had asked our School Division to block it and since then it has been blocked off and on. Most of them don't try to use it, and I have told them very cleary that they have signed an acceptable use agreement.

Over the past month or so, I have heard of a few businesses, some very large, who have blocked Facebook from their employees. Some students have said that there are places at work who are not allowing the use of cell phones at work or there will be suspensions.



dean shareski said...

I'd encourage your kids to have a look at this debate:


Just to note: Ewan is going to be in Moose Jaw in August and we may be able to have him work with interested teachers for a day.

C Hiltz said...

I would love to work with him. Myself and my kids (my own and my students) know that social networking has infinite advantages, and you're right: we have to use this tech tool to maximize learning. I wanted my kids to realize that social networking can be negative; I think I am actualizing this objective. Once some of the novelty wears off and some initial worries are past, I think we, my staff, students and I, can begin the process of learning to maximize some of the educational benefits of technology. Tomorrow I am giving a workshop to my teachers on blogging because I have had a few ask for this with their needs' surveys.