2.19.2011

24/7 education/communication

Well,
here it is.

As teachers, we are meant not to be 'friends' on facebook, with our students. I think that is wise, I don't necessarily want to get into religious debates with them about orthodoxy, or try to explain why its okay to smoke cigars once in a while but that cigarettes are bad for you. I mean, I would happily have that discussion with my own students in the right context, but I am a student teacher and won't have my 'own' students for a good long while, it seems, though who knows.
That said, I keep on thinking about things I want to tell them, compliments I want to pay them and things I want them to think about for next week, or parts of the music they should focus on. Things that I think they could find out easily enough when they are on facebook anyways, why not have a little update from this or that class pop up in their newsfeed? I think it would make education a more realistic part of their lives. We talk about Education as though it matters, but in its current state it is being left behind quite quickly by the rapid advances in communications technology. People will adopt these new media as fast as they can afford to, and the school boards and districts can't afford to let their students be at a disadvantage because of a lack of understanding of what exactly the meaning and value of this connectedness is or has for education. Sure, someone somewhere will abuse it, but that would happen with or without the internet. The internet, like a book, or a hammer, has no moral stance. It is not a person with a moral capacity and choices to make. Sure, it facilitates a lot of bad stuff through anonymity, sure, it allows for people to make money and is largely an economic engine, but it is not a morally capable entity.

Schools need to embrace technology and the government needs to fund it, otherwise, our students will be behind those in countries where educators have already recognized the value of technology in the classroom.

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