Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Safe and secure? Or open and exciting?

Just finished reading the chapter on "online safety and security" in our textbook, Web 2.0: new tools, new schools by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum. I have to admit that I had no idea that filtering and blocking were such big issues in so many public schools. I really think it's unfortunate that so many schools struggle with so few options.

We hear so much about cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying and online predators...but I read recently that there have been many more articles written about the incidents than there have been incidents themselves. Is it true?

I want children to be safe, but I also want children to learn and it's hard to see how limiting the tools we have available is in anyone's best interests. Children do need to learn about safe internet and social network use, but it's not happening if they're only using them in the privacy of their bedrooms. Seems like we're all missing out on a lot of teachable moments.

Today's teenagers have a much different view of privacy than earlier generations, and I can't say that's entirely a bad thing. I think we could all do with fewer walls and divisions and more connections and communication. My concern really is that the interests of safety and security can be such a convenient excuse to avoid dealing with the disruptive change that is happening all around us. I think we stand to lose an awful lot more than we gain anytime we take on the mantle of gate-keeper.

No comments: