Ken Royal of Scholastic Administrator Magazine recently wrote a blog post which resonated with me. As much as I love the world of social media and all of the benefits it has to offer education, I, too, worry about educators who run headlong into using free web resources with K-12 students. Are they really thinking about all of the possible implications of what they are doing?
We really do need to look at consistent solutions, as Ken points out, for multiple reasons including providing quality professional development for teachers as well as student safety and liability protection for districts and teachers.
Below are some of the points that stood out to me in Ken's blog post. I encourage you to click the link and read all of his thoughts for yourself.
Use of Twitter or Facebook by educators is one thing, but when I see articles and posts about using social media in classrooms, other than higher ed—it makes me cringe. Any adult using these online options knows how difficult they are to control. Hacking, porn, language, and just the constant updates—by the nanosecond—from all over the world are too uncontrollable for most classrooms—and from what I see, many adults, too.
Sometimes administrators and educators get so caught up with the cool, that they forget the bigger picture
At their best, they are the few in each school, or district, pushing the tech envelope. Some do that envelope pushing while working closely within the district, but others work outside that safety net. Today, the latter scares me. Relying on free downloads, cool online sites—with most of those requiring logins—can be unsafe. We need to move beyond the rogue-educator, and support consistent school or district solutions.
Experimenting with new online tech ideas is one thing, but forcing all into the classroom is not using common sense.