This is an excellent call to teachers to include more social tools in a classroom setting. Blogging is becoming an increasinly valid form of expression and students can benefit in so many ways from reading, commenting, challenging, and engaging in conversation with other readers, as well as creating their own blogs.
Teaching students the importance of having and using manners is nothing new to teachers. However, what has changed is the type of etiquette kids needs today—namely, the digital kind. True, please, thank you and excuse me are still significant, but in addition to these basics, students growing up in this ever-connected, social media crazed world require much more. Concepts such as online privacy, sharing and creating a positive digital footprint through the demonstration of responsible online behaviors are just as vital.
"Survey respondents say there’s still value to be found in traditional skills but new items are being added to the menu of most-desired capabilities. “internet literacy” was mentioned by many people. The concept generally refers to the ability to search effectively for information online and to be able to discern the quality and veracity of the information one finds and then communicate these findings well.
"David D. Burstein, a student at New York University and author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Remaking Our World, noted, “A focus on nostalgia for print materials, penmanship, and analog clock reading skills will disappear as Millennials and the generation that follows us will redefine valued skills, which will likely include internet literacy, how to mine information, how to read online, etc.”
"Collective intelligence, crowd-sourcing, smart mobs, and the “global brain” are some of the descriptive phrases tied to humans working together to accomplish things in a collaborative manner online. Internet researcher and software designer Fred Stutzman said the future is bright for people who take advantage of their ability to work cooperatively through networked communication. “The sharing, tweeting, and status updating of today are preparing us for a future of ad hoc, always-on collaboration,” he wrote. “The skills being honed on social networks today will be critical tomorrow, as work will be dominated by fast-moving, geographically diverse, free-agent teams of workers connected via socially mediating technologies.”
“Technology is just a tool. It’s how the tool is used to support learning that is key,” he said. “This study had nothing to do with how technology can support learning. It was just, ‘Let’s put this in here, and see if it has any impact.’”
The results may have been different had the students had some guidance on how to best use the computers and if teachers had been involved in connecting the home computers with what was going on in the classroom.
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