Sunday, May 24, 2009

Social Networking: A Response to The Assigned Readings

This blog might seem contradictory to my last blog, but just because I enjoyed using "Facebook," does not infer that I would encourage it's usage amongst my high school students. Yes, social networking sites like "Facebook" and "My Space" have many great aspects associated with them. However, in my experience the con's have out wieghed the pro's. Speaking on behalf of my school, the majority of problems and "high school drama" we experience are directly related to "My Space." I don't want people out there to think I'm bashing these sites or technology, but these sites require the user to be responsible and mature. And to my knowledge, high school students struggle with these attributes. For example, this year I had a student create a "My Space" page for me without my consent. In addition to this, they would actually log on as me and post blogs pretending to be me. Something as innocent as social networking turned detrimental. The articles titled, "Examining Social Software in Teacher Education," "Social Networking," and "Teen Services," had many valid and valuable arguments on behalf of social networking. Case in point, the article, "Social Networking," referred to the Virginia Tech shootings and how college students would post messages for loved ones saying that they were okay. This is a great example of social networking's importance. However, the article referred to college students, not high school students. Until my students demonstrate responsibility, maturity, and sound judgement, I will not promote social networking within my courses.

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