Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Citizenship Through School-Based Social Networking

Citizenship Through School-Based Social Networking is a great article about the use of social networking within a school environment. In today’s world there are more and more occurrences of inappropriate online relationships and cyber bullying. The question it raises and addresses is how do kids of today know what is considered to be an appropriate use of social networking tools. By creating a school-based network, teachers can create safe environments with tighter controls. These types of social interactions will allow teacher, students and administrators to communicate on a platform that is not only open but accountable as well. Like Myspace and Facebook, students can create personal profiles, upload photos, videos or even music and at the same time be able to join groups to follow similar interests. Unlike other social networks these are limited to the school only and has NO privacy. Every comment or post instantly networks every participant!

Winn makes some very good links to how and why this can be used in our schools and in our classes. Since there is no privacy within the network, all communication tends to be appropriate and there is little suspicion of inappropriate online relationships that could potentially harm students or faculty alike. It also encourages a sense of digital etiquette since every comment can be read by anyone, even posts from teachers or administrators. Through this type of network teachers are able to communicate with students, give assignments and asses progress. One history teacher went so far as to set up a subnet and have his kids create profiles for historical figures. They would then assume the identity of that person, posting pictures, comments or videos. This brought history to life where it otherwise would be “one dimensional”.

This article is a perfect example of NETS standard number 5 for students. It not only advocates for the safe and responsible use of information and technology but implements a positive attitude towards using that technology as well. In addition, it supports collaboration within the school and students that promotes personal growth in learning and responsibility within the technology itself.

Winn, Mathew (2011-2012). Promote Digital Citizenship through School-Based Social Networking. Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(4) 11.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Tony,

    This is a very interesting article. Part of me is conflicted, feeling like do we really need yet another social networking site? But the other part of me appreciates the points that the article makes regarding transparency within the network. I think that at this point in society, maybe it's one of those "lesser of the two evils"... I also think it strongly depends on the age of the students.

    One thing that I absolutely love about this article, is the example of the history teacher and his project! To me, this is a wonderful example of using technology as an aid to help students learn valuable material. I would totally use this type of assignment in my classroom and think that there are so many ways to expand upon it.

    Lastly, I liked your perspective of linking NETSS Standard #5 for students. You're right - using social networking on sites within school guidelines teaches students how to treat such sites with responsibility and respect not only for the schools policies but also the technology.

    Great work!