Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Social Responsibility Online

Nothing I am going to say in this post is ground braking or new information but simply some reflection on things that have be going in on social media for sometime.  This is one of those moments of thought that comes to all of us in our own time even when other people have been talking about it for months.

This morning I was listing to NPR on the way to work.  Of the top of my head I can not remember exactly what the story was about but they started talking about a gentlemen posing on Twitter about his experience in his country as they where under attack and they interviewed the gentlemen via Skype.  This is when I started thinking about the social and political impact that social media has had on the world.  I started think about the occupy movement, the events in Egypt, and the other events that have been fueled by social media. The more I think about it the more questions I seem to come up with that have no good answers.

Who teaches the youth how to be responsible with social media?
I think we have seen this falling on the schools for the most part but is that where it needs to be taught?  In this era of No Child Left Behind do we have time to be teaching it? When it comes right down to it schools are expected to teach the students to be safe online and how to be responsible developers/protectors of their digital footprint. If we don't let students use social media in schools how can we assess what we have taught them? Is taking a test over the responsible use of social media really an effective assessment? We all know that kids say one thing and do another. I feel that this is kind of like teaching a kid to run a mile and then having them take a test over how run the mile instead of having them run. (OK that may not be the best comparison but you know what I am getting at).  Then we run into the question is having social media in the schools a good idea?  I still don't know how to answer that question.

What if Doogie Houser had Face Book?
I know that may people my age have had this thought.  There are even several funny things online about it. I am sure that if Dr. Houser had posted his journal on Face Book or a blog, not just a word doc, that he would have inspired many people.  Here is the thought that crossed my mind today. What if Hittler had a Twitter account? I know you just cringed when you read that. Think about the influence that Hittler had on the world and think what could have happened if he was able to reach us all with Twitter and Face Book? Maybe we would have been able to intercept the ideas that Hittler was putting out there and change the direction things where going....but maybe not.

So there is my non-answer to the question I posed.  Just some general, maybe not so thought out, observations.  I think we are all still struggling with the best practices with social media education and implementation in education. There are so many things to take into consideration with these topics it is hard to know where to start....but it will be interesting to see where we end up.

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