Yesterday’s social networking report – part 2
Posted by pennybridged
Seems like that survey published yesterday about our younger folk benefitting enormously from hanging out in cyberspace has got people talking. How about this list from Google?
The titles are particularly interesting. Here’re a few I like –
- The Teens Are All Right, YOU’RE Falling Behind
- Study Says Wasting Time Online Is Actually Good For Kids
- Online Time Helps Teens Develop Social and Technical Skills
- Teens Learn Important Life Skills Online
- Parents Should Embrace Digital Age
- Study finds kids’ use of social Web sites is not waste of time
- Study Finds Teens Learn While Social Networking
- Digital Youth Study shows importance of kids being online
What are they all saying? In essence, the problem isn’t with the kids and their online explorations and discoveries, its with the parents.
It’s time to lay off the scaremongering and negativity. The online world is not full of predators and fraud scams. There is a lot of good in it and perhaps parents should join instead of criticising from the sidelines. Kids are more savvy than today’s over-protective parents give them credit for.
What does it mean for us educators? Freedom to do what we’ve suspected for a while now might actually work – go to where the kids are and work with them in their own space where they’re comfortable.
The report suggests that kids prefer to learn from their peers than from adults and parents. To me, it’s not the content of the learning that’s important here per se, it’s the mechanisms of learning we should focus on. What are peers doing to inspire each other to experiment with online tools and activities, how is the momentum created and sustained, what blocks are educators (inadvertently) putting in front of students that are not present in their online activities.
I’m not saying that education should move wholesale to the net. That would lose many of the benefits that face-to-face learning gives us. I am saying that the internet is a platform that many young students are comfortable in, so why not embrace it for teaching and learning purposes.