21st century tools for 21st century learners
I had so many personal highlights at the COMO conference! No matter how much I enjoy interacting using technology, there’s really nothing like a conference to get me inspired to go home and try out some new things or to do some additional research/reading to learn more about new ideas. It’s really great to be part of a profession where everybody is so willing to share.
Which brings me to my topic of the day. At virtually every session where a Web 2.0 tool is mentioned somebody in the audience would ask, “You mean that isn’t blocked at your school?” The knee jerk reaction in so many districts to block ANY site that has ANY interactive capabilities is really problematic. My personal philosophy is that we have to have access to 21st century tools to prepare our learners for the 21st century. That doesn’t mean that I think students should be on MySpace or Facebook at their lunch periods (but on the other hand maybe that would be okay) but we simply can’t be ignoring all of the learning tools out there. We actually discussed this in the presentation I was part of about policies for virtual school libraries. Our presentation wiki has quite a few resources about many 21st century policy topics but I thought I’d point you toward a few that deal directly with this issue so that we don’t keep coming to signs like the ones in the picture below!
- Who’s in Charge? (Mark Prensky)
- What are we Protecting Them From? (Matt Villano)
- Bell, M.A. (2008, Sept/Oct). I’m mad and I’m not gonna take it any more. Multimedia & Internet@Schools (registration required to access the article; survey summary can be found here; links to presentation titled “I Want My Web 2.0” can be found here)
- Should We Establish National Web Filtering Guidelines (Point/counterpoint from Leading & Learning with Technology, September/Oct. 2008)
- Rules for the Social Web (article by Doug Johnson; a related ppt can be seen here; Johnson is also the author of “Staying Safe on the Read-Write Web”, Library Media Connection, v. 26, #6, (March 2008), pp. 48-52)
- Free Speech in a MySpace World
- Your AUP on Social Networking? (A related set of links is found on this wiki)
Image by Old Sarge; flickr Creative Commons license
Judi Repman, Georgia Southern University