Saturday, June 28, 2008

Social Networking with Students

Do you do Social Networking with students?
Are you considering social networking with students?

The second session of EduBlogger Con 2008 I attended explored these topics.

We need to educate our students about social networking.
Students may be using social networking in their personal lives and we need to help them understand how to use social networking in their professional networking. Students need to learn to use appropriate behavior which is expected to be used in a professional educational space.

In using social networking in the classroom situations arise across different cultures which enable us to have discussions about what is considered appropriate with our students and which also furthers our ability to teach digital and global citizenry.
Educators are finding that through social networking, students who are reticent to share in the classroom will share through online chats or back channels. Once they realize that their ideas are valuable and respected, they become more active as learners in the classroom.

We need to educate our technology departments and administrators.
When deciding to use social networking with students we need to know:
What kind of sandbox will it be?
How will you keep kids safe in there?

We need to educate our parents.
We need to educate our parents about social networking and what we are doing with their children just as we do with other experiences we provide for our students.

So, not unlike anything else that is new, we need to engage all of the stakeholders in understanding it. We shouldn't expect it to be easy because we are forging the road. We are exploring the pitfalls and successes so that even more students will be able to benefit. What is important is to continue to find a way to gather all of our collective ideas together so this can happen. Are you game?

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