Our new Year 9s (still 8s) arrived today for their orientation. Thanks, Nick, for inviting me to do a few sessions as an introduction to their ipads. I’ve shared the slideshow and hope it will make sense without much of the talk behind it.
Tag Archives: Facebook
At the end of the year the library staff do a series of very short sessions with the year 10s to support their transition into year 11. Our team showcases databases and other online resources, talks about learning styles, and the such. My session last year centred on Google Search, with the students doing A Google a Day. Since last year Google have enhanced this program with a very catchy game which is sure to engage students. This year I thought I’d expand my focus area to include aspects of digital citizenship.
This is how I intend to proceed. I’m starting with a question which I think cuts to the core of learning and teaching in our age:
In the age of Google, what are the most important skills we need to develop?
There’s no doubt that, in order to manage and make sense of information on the internet, we need to be smart online. Students’ online and offline lives merge into one; they are always connected, and so they need to be netsmart just as they should be ‘life smart’. There’s enough material here for a year’s program, and while creating libguide resources for Digital Citizenship, I’ve been wondering how I can convince the school of the value of this.
Since I only have one short session with the students, I’m going to briefly talk about 2 aspects of being netsmart -
1. Our Privacy online (We need to be smart and discerning)
2. Critical consumption (or what Howard Rheingold calls ‘crap detection’)
So, first our privacy online. I’ll start by showing the students this video that Jenny Luca has shared in her blog post.
Hopefully the video will engage the students and spark some thinking about how much can be gleaned online about their personal information. Of course there’s so much sensationalised and biased information in the media demonising young people’s online lives but I’m not sure if that doesn’t just make them switch off. I’m hoping that the humorous approach will engage their attention so that the final message will sink in.
Following that I intend to challenge the students to google themselves and each other, making them think about what other people would find out about them if they were googled. I wonder how many would start to be worried about what their digital footprint might look like. Actually, I’m not sure they would find much about themselves online, and this would be a perfect opportunity to discuss the positive aspects of their digital footprint, and how they could create one which would impress a future employer or at least create a transparent, positive identity they would be proud to present to the world. I think the obvious question also needs to be asked: why do they need a digital footprint in the first place?
I’m also keen to discuss, as Jenny did, the difference between http and the secure network communication using https. Jenny said she was surprised that many students didn’t realise the difference and were impressed with the information.
Finally, I’ll be showing the students the Facebook tab in the Digital Citizenship Libguide, and we’ll discuss how privacy works on Facebook, and talk about advanced privacy controls.
Then we’ll move on to the very important aspect of being netsmart which includes critical consumption (crap detection). We’ll read through a summary of Web hoaxes and misinformation, and the students will form small groups to ‘evaluate the websites’ in the list on the Libguide to decide which are not reputable, and match them with a category from web evaluation box. They won’t have time to work through the Internet Detective tutorial but I included it because it’s such a useful and specific lesson on the identification of disreputable websites.
There are so many more areas to cover but for now I will settle on the collection of resources in the tabs within the Digital Citizenship guide: cybersafety, digital values, digital footprint, Facebook, copyright, being net smart, Creative Commons, web evaluation, digital literacies and our networked world. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to work with students within these areas next year.
Image source: http://www.veletsianos.com/
Everybody’s talking about it: online behaviour.
We’ve come around, finally and reluctantly, on the whole, to accepting that social media is part of our world, young people as well as adult. Even television shows and radio stations are tweeting and blogging – how more mainstream can you get?
On the negative side, we also hear about bad behaviour online, and the confusion arising from changes to privacy, particularly on Facebook. Many people have spoken out about what needs to be happening in schools, including Jenny Luca and Will Richardson. There are many passionate responses to Facebook’s handling of privacy on the web.
Some people are leaving Facebook.
It’s interesting that morning programs on television are often featuring conversations about social media, Twitter and Facebook in particular. This morning Channel 7′s morning program featured a spokeswoman talking about Facebook privacy and the inappropriate content that was being shared outside the users’ immediate circle of Facebook friends. I was surprised that the tone was reasonable, and many interesting points were raised, for example, the question as to why people post strong and even abusive comments to people on Twitter when they wouldn’t behave that way if they met these people face to face.
That’s the difference – face to face interaction compared to faceless interaction. Facebook, ironically, is faceless. When we get involved in a passionate discussion we may be talking to friends of friends who are faceless to us. We don’t expect to meet them, and we don’t exercise the same caution that we would if we knew we’d be seeing them in person. It’s the same with road rage.
For me, that’s the message we need to get out to students. Don’t get me wrong – I’m an advocate of the connective power of social media, but I think that students should be reminded that while they are chatting with ‘friends’ in the privacy of their bedrooms, their conversations are very public.
Facebook is very easy to use. It’s easy to add friends, photos, applications, become fans and group members. But it isn’t easy to wade through the new privacy regulations. Even with a manual it confuses me. And it’s not something young people (or anyone) are likely to do any more than they would happily peruse a legal document. Changes occur without enough notice, it’s easy to let it all go and hope for the best.
But who is responsible for teaching this? Will it be taught by the few educators who have independently decided it’s important, or across the school following a directive from principals?
I worry that while primary schools may consider this an essential part of the curriculum, just as they educate children about bullying, drug-taking, etc., secondary schools may be confused as to whose role this is. It may not fit into an already overcrowded curriculum. It may be perceived that secondary students are old enough to be responsible or that what they do in their private time is no concern of the school.
I would like to run parent sessions on Facebook, but it’s blocked for staff and students in our school. The leaders of our school have made this decision in the best interests of our students. Fair enough, but have they thought the issue through? Blocking Facebook at school prevents education. It indicates serious handwashing.
Parents are talking about feeling helpless and ignorant when it comes to their children’s online activities. We could say that they should monitor their children’s Facebook activity, but until what age? Try monitoring a 16 year old and see what happens.
Parents should be educated but then so should school leaders and teachers. The only way to understand something is to get into it and see how it works. It’s not a matter of saying ‘it’s not for me’; we can’t afford to say that anymore. We can’t keep blaming parents, schools, the government.
I remember a primary school principal once saying that what the students did out of school wasn’t his responsibility (when I raised the issue of pornography sites being passed around online). We can no longer separate school and home. Online interaction out of school spills into school interaction.
We are all responsible. We should all become educated. We should all educate where appropriate.