Friday, March 03, 2006

Dealing with the dangerous

Here's a post from Cool Cat Teacher about children and the www that hits home.

I attended a parents' meeting with my son's teacher yesterday. I expressed my growing frustration that the entire class has had their email accounts suspended because some of the kids were sending inappropriate messages. This sort of kneejerk reaction renders me (almost) speechless. Did teachers swoop down and snatch away all pens and papers when kids wrote rude notes or drew rude pictures? How can we expect kids to become competent and appropriate users of tools if our first reaction is to snatch them away the minute they step out of line?

Giving guidance is hard work, whether you are a parent or a teacher. Taking the line of least resistance by removing all tools with the potential to be used for mischief teaches nothing. Before kids are given access to any tools, they need to know what to expect. While they are learning to use them, they need supervision. On an ongoing basis, evaluation and open discussion must be on offer. If we keep taking things away, we'll wind up back in the dark ages!

Okay - soapbox moment over... for now.

1 comment:

Vicki A. Davis said...

I agree with you Karyn. I stress to my students that all classroom rules apply to their work online and we take disciplinary action for behavior on school accounts. That is why I favor the use of "school" e-mail and "school" blogs. We can monitor and hold them accountable. Yes, it is work, but until the technology of monitoring the behavior catches up with the tools, it is a sacrifice I'm willing to make. I don't care if they are at home or at school, inappropriate behavior at one of our online wikis and blogs is innappropriate and occurs in my classroom, no matter what time of day it is.

Thus far, I haven't had too much problem. I have dealt with each issue severely the first time it happens and then no problem.

Thanks for the meaningful post. We need more commenters like you!