These days, you can't be a writer or a teacher without hearing about, talking about, or using social media. I spend a lot of time in schools, both primary and secondary schools and I talk to a lot of teachers, parents, and of course - kids themselves. The articles below all came out of these types of conversations. The issues are incredibly common and everyone needs to be aware of the potential dangers that lurk.
Do you know what it means when someone asks you to DM, PM or inbox them? Can you tell the difference between a tweet, a status update, or a post? Do you know what a Twitpic is? How about a check-in? Do you know how an @mention or #hashtag works? This is the language of the new world of social media... Read More
I was confronted with a difficult situation recently. My friend Janie asked me to create a Facebook page for her eleven year old daughter, Olivia. My first response was NO WAY! She’s 11, still in primary school. Janie told me that Olivia had been pressuring her to let her have her own Facebook page... Read More
Recently, I asked a group of 13-and-14-year-olds how many of their Facebook friends they actually knew personally. Their first response was “all of them.” I was a bit suspicious of this given that some of them had hundreds and hundreds (and a few, even thousands) on their ‘friends’ list... Read More
The parent of a Year 8 student recently asked me if I thought schools should ban mobile phones. It’s an interesting question, and one that provokes a variety of responses from different groups of people. I spend a fair amount of time in schools as an eLiteracy Consultant, and hear teachers speak about the battle to keep students on task and focused. And this is without having to compete with mobile phones... Read More
A few weeks ago, a ten-year-old hacked into the school intranet and began deleting installed teaching programs. He thought it was funny. His teachers did not. They could not get their heads around how or why a child could or would do such a thing. The kid thought he was clever. And he was. He outsmarted his teacher as she went about her usual teaching practice, oblivious to the idea... Read More
A year or so back I knew a young woman, Tahli, who was studying music at university. She was (still is) an awesome Cellist who loved playing, performing and composing music. Beyond her cello, she was a typical 19-year-old. She lived on campus and was meeting many new people and enjoying the freedom of university life. Between studies, rehearsals, shows, shopping and cooking, and socialising... Read More