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2/9/2009 7:35 AM
Well, I've read the paper to which you refer, and I think that on the whole it presents an excellent argument for unblocking the use of Facebook in schools, and ensuring that there is space on the curriculum to address the issues you mention.

Admittedly, there is the problem that young people's physiological development is such that it is not until their early to mid 20s that they are able to assess risk properly, but to my mind that makes it even more important to give them a set of strategies and procedures which they can adopt in order to keep safe -- even if they don't understand why the measures are keeping them safe.

On the whole, the worst thing we can do is ban the use of social networking in schools. As for saying that kids shouldn't be using Facebook at all, the fact of the matter is: they are! I think we should proceed on the basis of what is, not what some people would like it to be.
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2/11/2009 4:31 AM

From my experience, banning would not teach students the correct or best practices of online social networking.


Let's teach our students and children how to be safe, how to be practical, and how to use the online environment to have fun. It also teaches them how to use technology as we move more and more into the Web 2.0 environment.


Banning only stresses the negative. Let's share the positives and help them learn the best way to use social networking and how to make it work for them!

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2/11/2009 5:34 AM

Currently our school has social networking blocked, however, the challenge to unblock it has begun.  As the Tech person both classroom and network, I am concerned about many issue that will come from opening these channels.  I would be open to other school IT dept views on how their school is handling the ongoing "need" to socialize via the web.






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2/11/2009 5:47 AM
Yes, schools should allow social networking. They need to be taught and exposed to the proper social etiquette related to their page and posting to others. What better platform then at school in a controlled enviornment to expose them to a place where they can consult with friends and collegues to stay current. By the time we allow social networking in schools students will again be a step ahead of us and onto the next communication tool.
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2/11/2009 6:31 AM

Since the Broadband Data Improvement Act / Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act was signed into law by the President last October it's just a matter of when, not if, we must teach the incredibly important topic of Internet Safety.


With my technical background including work at Intel, Honeywell, Apollo Group, and National Computer Systems and my computer technology teaching background including both public and private education K - Jr. College you could say I'm well rounded in my experience.


Based on my experience, I believe I've developed one of the best solutions available for teaching Internet Safety and it's been tested, refined and proven for two years by private schools here in AZ.


What makes this solution unique, is that all of the instruction is performed where today's youth spend so much of their time, and where teachers need to be to effectively teach Internet Safety; ONLINE.


Going online with students, for any purpose, can seem overwhelming. To minimize that concern, I've developed a completely Secure, Accountable, Private Social Networking website as the venue for this instruction.


Included with the solution are a Quick Start Guide, to get you up and running, and a Teacher's Text which outlines every technical activity on the site necessary for instruction, both of which are completely illustrated to facilitate ease of use. A Scope & Sequence document directly correlated to the page numbers in the Teacher's Text provides suggestions for projects and interaction on subjects such as Identity Protection, Predators, Bullying, Social Networking, Copyright, Appropriate Use, Netiquette, and Socially Acceptable Language.


Additionally, because this Internet Safety curriculum is based on 21st Century technology tools, it's also easy to implement this solution for the addressing of 21st Century Skills and facets of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math.)


But don't just take my word for it, contact me to schedule a presentation for your district.


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