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« More MFL teachers join the blogosphere | Main | Phones 4 U? »

23/07/2006

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Your conclusion sums it up. Harnessing the technology and keeping them safe. You probably know that every school in the country has a bebo page. Ours contains much material that the school would wish not to be associated with. We've been having problems with bebo bullying and stuff spilling over into the playground. The quizzes that the children set up on their home page have been racial, sectarian, and just downright cruel. None of them should have bebo accounts being between 8 and 10 years old as they are. There's been a bit of discussion about this on my blog www.marlynmo.blogspot.com and Ewan MacIntosh at edu.blogs.com. You'll probably know him through the Mfle.

Dear Marlyn,

Thank you for leaving your comment. Here's a comment I left on Peter Ford's blog yesterday on the same isse

Taken from: http://fordlog.com/?p=159

Blog safety of children is of course paramount. I published a post yesterday called ‘The kids are doing it for themselves’. It was about the article MySpace: the final frontier by Yojana Sharma which appears in this week’s TES.

It describes how children are embracing sites such as MySpace and Bebo and communicating with ‘virtual friends’ from around the world. It doesn’t however mention net security particularly.

Since writing my post, I’ve been checking out articles on Bebo and it seems that they fall into two camps. They either say that children should never use these sites or that if they do they must adhere to the sort of advice available in the downloadable leaflet referred to in this post.

Children are clearly using these social networking sites in their thousands. Therefore it seems better to educate them on the possible dangers of using them than being over judgemental. What do you think?

Best wishes

Joe

Useful links

http://joedale.typepad.com/integrating_ict_into_the_/2006/07/the_kids_are_do.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/04/09/nbebo09.xml
http://www.tes.co.uk/search/story/?story_id=2247403

As teachers, we have a'duty of care' which applies to all areas of health and safety. We are therefore responsible for educating the children in anything that we know might cause harm or upset, and need to take the lead. These things will never go away, but I wouldn't want to see the good that they can do being overshadowed by misuse. We are building into our PSD and Health programmes for next session, to ensure that the issues are dicussed in every classroom. I used my Primary three children to talk to the primary sixes about the do and don't do, but we now have to look at the moral issues of some of the behaviours, ignore the language and look at the content.

I couldn't agree more. Pupils are generally very web literate nowadays, yet can still be naive about revealing personal information on the net. We certainly do need to educate them on how to reduce potential risks.

Having Bebo or MySpace accounts allows them to express themselves in ways which would be impossible without the net. They like being able to network with their friends and meet people with similar interests. This is understandably exciting for them.

I am not advocating that as teachers we should be encouraging pupils to use these sites in schools. However, I do think that we should be using blogs to publish pupils' work (text, audio, video) as long as they are properly moderated.

Blogs give pupils a real purpose and audience for their publications. They can motivate them to raise their standards at the same time, knowing that what they produce will be accessed by many people, not just their teacher.

It's still early days (in England anyway) to see how blogs can enhance learning. It's an exciting journey which needs to be policed with care.

Talking of internet safety, this has just come up on the ICT in Education blog:

http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/cs/blogs/ictineducation/archive/2006/07/26/1018.aspx

Best wishes

Joe

I am the Producer responsible for the BBC’s GCSE Bitesize website. We are developing some new GCSE French revision resources but sadly none of the contributors we planned to use are available. We are therefore looking for an experienced GCSE French Teacher(s) to act as a writer consultant. If you or any of your users are interested please contact me at
andrew.lees@bbc.co.uk

It's like many years ago when people debated if it is alright to use these social networking platform. I consider those somewhat okay. We communicate so much through these new technologies that sometimes we cross a line in what should be face to face and what shouldn't.

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