May 10, 2007

41 minutes per day...

  Rachael from Bebo 
  Originally uploaded by Edublogger.

41 minutes per day. That's how long the average Bebo user spends online on Bebo, sharing photos, video, news, what they're feeling, finding out what their pals are feeling...

That's nearly a quarter of the average 200 minutes time that kids spend online each day. Huge. And what does education do to try to harness the skills being learned in there? Hmmm.... "Could do better".

Well, we could just do it. The skills are there, the tech's there, all that's missing is the desire of those not in the know to learn. I've been trying to learn, for example, by just playing in there, creating my own bebo profile:

Rachael O'Connell, the Chief Safety Officer at , spent about 10 years as a forensic internet specialist, chasing the baddies of the net. Now, working for Bebo, there is a great interest in developing national internet safety policy with the Home Office, for example.

But Bebo are trying to get more organisations, including, with me,
Learning and Teaching Scotland, to take on a role in developing the Beboism 'Be One' attitude (the site is very much in its infancy). This hasn't really been publicly announced - yet - but is a superb initiative I'm hoping we can develop further through our own online Bebo work.

Be Inspired: A place to show off your creative stuff
Be Well: A centre with organisations ready to offer emotional support, not just for online safety but for all things that make teens vulnerable. It's a holistic place.
Be Rich: Conversations about career paths, aspirations, thinking outside the box, making connections in the world of work and play.
(There's a fourth one, which I forget)

e-Citizenship and e-Democracy are both things we want our populations to engage with, but where do we start with young people? I think their patch, Bebo, is not a bad place at all...


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There is already evidence that pupils are using Bebo to discuss their own school work on Bebo. One word springs into my mind here. (For those of you who don’t know me…Glow!)

You have talked about Bebo here Ewan. Have you ventured into Facebook? Maybe on as flashy as Bebo, but far more secure. Worth a dabble if you have the time. Facebook was initially a network designed for tertiary education. Indeed originally you required a valid matriculation number to join. It is now open to anyone. And, you can use a bit off RSS. Worth a click.

Just a thought.


The four 'Be's are:

Be Inspired
Be Cause
Be Enriched
Be Well

The one you missed is Be Cause which is dedicated to "good causes"

Could be interesting trying to persuade the school's firewall people to give access in schools!

All the children in my classes are crazy for Bebo. However, in their wisdom the authority has banned it, and the filtering software prohibits pupils from accessing it.

We even had scandal today when it turned out pupils were accessing it through a student teachers login. The login has become somewhat a black market commodity.

Am going to have a bash at Tessa's idea of using facebook with classes instead (am suspicious it will also be filtered out though).


@ Neil: ArrrGGhhh Neil! Don’t ask me about firewalls!
@ Doug: I don’t use FaceBook with pupils (though I would love to!), but add me as a friend and I will show you how it works for me!

Tessa :)

Back again...

@ Neil and Ewan: Get on FaceBook! You will find it very informative, I promise!

Hi Tess et al.
Just in the taxi home now. I've been on facebook a while so do look me up but I certainly wouldn't use it with kids. It's not the sexiest design and it's best for more long term networking. IMHO.

No worries Ewan (I am just furhtering suggestions), but in context, I think it is comparable.
Hope you get home soon!


I was not impressed in not 'hearing' from my teenage daughter at all when she was on a 2 week school trip to Japan (from New Zealand).
I hadnt thought to stay in contact via Bebo ... all her friends were.
I am also impressed with what she has taught herself about software, digital imagery, etc by her fascination with the medium. I have no worry about her last IT poor mark at school in her other life she is way beyond the mastery school wants demonstrated.

It's not just Bebo, it's the whole social networking thing. Kids are already doing so much with the web at home and on the move that the ICT curriculum they are being fed in school (from an English point of view, overwhelmingly the QCA ICT scheme) is becoming increasingly detached from the reality of the children's own experience. Instead of being the exciting, stimulating, mind expanding subject it has the potential to be, schools are running scared and using the media hype to refuse to engage with Web 2.0. Result is an ICT curriculum that is rapidly losing relevance to the children we teach. PowerPoint anyone?

It is amazing how these sites (Bebo, Facebook, myspace, youtube) are becomming such an important part of young people's lives. We are witnessing a massive change in the way people communicate. Good or bad? I'm not sure. But one this that is for sure is that it is here to stay.

It is very good

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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