On or Off Line: a Perspective

I happened to come across  Aviva’s  post yesterday, titled
online-offline-where-to-draw-the-line.  Aviva makes that point that “students need a safe place to make mistakes, and I don’t know that social media provides this safe place.”  Check out  the comments from some of the readers  [here].

We do live in interesting times for sure.  Perhaps this is all a lesson in media literacy (& life).   From my perspective,  there are a few important points in the mix.

In my view blogs are indeed a social media tool.  In today’s world, you DO have a voice through a variety of social media tools.  One’s actions in a social media environment have reach and impact.  This begs responsible and ethical use: do good, ask good questions, ‘poke’ at things in a respectful manner.   It is likely safe to say that not all real life experiences  will have these characteristics, and from this perspective,  Aviva’s blog post raises a great point when considering the learning environment.

blog

In response to Aviva’s post,  Doug Peterson wrote a great blog post this morning  called  Learning about Social Media  in which he  makes a strong case for using blogs as an excellent entry point into this world.  I certainly support Doug’s view that blogs are indeed an excellent starting point.  I also think that  the K12 educational experience needs to move beyond this.  Our  students live in a world where new online tools and platforms are ‘born’ all the time and having some appropriate experiences  in new arenas is also important.  I like the idea of gradual release of responsibility (age appropriate), and I am excited about the positive experiences I am seeing WRDSB students having within programs such as the Futures Forum Project (FFP).

I don’t think one can underestimate the power of positive role modelling.  Do you see this as an opportunity for educators? or perhaps a responsibility?  Either way, social media is here to stay.  Reach, impact, connections, relationship building and establishing trust are all important aspects of this digital world in which we live, and important areas to develop in young people.

Great topic.  Please weigh in.  I welcome your thoughts on this discussion.  Leave a comment or connect in some other way.

~Mark

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