Much has been written over the weekend about evolutions and revolutions aided by internet connections. You can find a synopsis of the Middle East and North Africa here via @dougpete . You can also read Chris Lehmann’s response to a teacher’s unfortunate blog about her students. A google search for Blogs on Wisconsin came up with 173,000,000!
What do all these situations have in common. They are all leveraging the power of social media. Now I know that many school boards, including mine, block Facebook, Youtube and the like. I’m not sure, in light of today’s current events, that it is even a conscionable educational thought, but that is not my point.
Rather, I would address the teachers who only want the best for their students, who work diligently in sometimes trying conditions to nurture creativity and critical thought, but who dismiss the idea of establishing a digital presence out of hand. Said one participant at a recent conference on the 21st Century Learner, “I don’t need to have a Facebook account to know what the kids are doing”.
I would argue that Yes You Do! Or a Twitter account, or an RSS feed reader, or a blog… Not only to know what the kids are doing, but what their teachers, their role models, and much of the entire global world is doing? For good or for bad. I know it is new and there is a learning curve, but it is today’s reality, it is not going away, it expands with astonishing speed, and the marketers are marching in.
Never more have our students deserved a guide on the side, a caring navigator in the cloud.