March 14, 2010

Two reasons for "teaching Facebook" in school

Kimberley Swann
Will outlines a conversation with a superintendent, one of whose parents wanted her child pulled from a classroom where, frankly, some brilliant learning and teaching practice was taking place. The reason?

“Our students don’t need to be a part of a classroom experiment with all this technology stuff. They need to have a real teacher with real textbooks and real tests.”

My immediate thought is that "the real teacher" with "real textbooks" (not up-to-date student-curated wiki ones) that she refers to is increasingly a "fake education", one that does not prepare youngsters for the reality of life when they leave school at 18 years old, or a 4pm.

My killer example has to be that, in learning how to publish responsibly to a textbook wiki with a worldwide audience this teacher's students will not be making the same mistake as Kimberley Swann, pictured above, whose story shows a complete lack of understanding in how the real world actually works, or 'Lindsay', whose Facebook lifestream sums up her media illiteracy in one snap:

Facebook Misuse
If Lindsay or Kimberley had been taught by a real "real teacher", maybe they'd have not only had a conversation at some point about how one uses social networks for both play and work, as part of your public face, they may also have had, subject to the filtering policies in their schools, some hands-on practical sessions in privacy settings and the art of communication on the net.


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Great stuff Ewan - could not have said it better myself.

It's the same argument I use when asked "why should my child take a "Mickey Mouse" subject like Media Studies.

Er...your child spends all their free time online! But you don't want them to understand it (the media text) in the same way they understand Dickens or Steinbeck!

Digital literacy and Media literacy is Literacy - this is the language of the 21st century.

I wonder when attitudes will really change?

This blog post will be a resource I can use in the media literacy course I am developing. No better example for teens than to see what happens to other teens.

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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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