Feb 04 2009
Thanks to Carol Stewart who notified me about the BBC Learning Officer’s blog in which Cathy Fraser talks about students and social networking. Here is her final comment from the blog posting.
“Students are certainly taking advantage of social networking on their own. Might as well tap into that passion and use it to improve the delivery of education. The potential value of online learning communities and global networking is too great to fathom. David Warlick, who was a keynote speaker I heard recently, said that educators are trying to prepare youth for a future that we cannot describe. I was struck by the absolute truth of that statement. Nothing is certain or impossible for that matter. December 4, I attended a technology in education conference myself and it was an eye-opening experience. I was heartened to learn that students have not lost their inquiring minds. They’ve simply taken them underground or online. What they’re not asking in school, they are asking people in social networking situations and creating amazing things in the process. There is no doubt that the landscape of education is changing and that these changes are powerful and positive. However, I wonder about the ramifications of too much interacting online. Are young people losing their ability to conduct personal relationships face-to-face? Second Life is a place where people can develop alter egos which take the form of avatars. This “place” is being touted as a way for students who have difficulty relating to their peers to transcend these problems and succeed. At what are they succeeding? It’s not real, or is it? Are they learning important life and coping skills by creating a graphic of themselves and existing in cyberspace? There has to be a balance. Humans will adapt to new technologies as soon as they’re available in the mainstream, but at what cost?”
Fri Dec 19 04:39:45 2008
Cathy raises some interesting questions and I know that Phil Bradley would agree that we should be taking advantage of social networking. Whilst I like to blog and email, for me nothing beats a face to face chat but then it’s not always possible to meet face to face and I know of some people that are not comfortable talking face to face but are very expressive through other mediums. The old expression horses for courses springs to mind.