Social Media and Education

Cyber Safety: A 9-year-old gets it right

Posted on: April 24, 2010

Today was our school district’s annual EdCom celebration. EdCom stands for Education Communication. Students, individually or in groups, spend most of the school year doing deep learning on a project of their choice. More than 600 students participate in the project.

My students joined with another fourth grade classroom and my technology club to share their learning life as digital natives. They shared their Global Virtual Classroom website, their podcasts, FaceBook reports, animations, and Indiana research activities. They were clustered around their laptops as parents and appraisers questioned them about their learning.

One of my students was showing off a FaceBook template he had used to share the life and accomplishments of famed basketball coach, John Wooden. He was very much into the process and detailed how he had used social media to show the character of a very famous Hoosier.

As he took questions about his work, an appraiser sidled up to his laptop. The appraiser, an IT specialist from a large, local corporation, asked a pointed question. “If you and your family went on vacation, what would you post about it on FaceBook?” My student was quick with his reply. “I would never post anything about our vacation. I don’t want anyone to rob us because they know we aren’t home.”

More questions about cyber safety and social media followed. The two were engaged in a steady conversation. The appraiser came to me immediately and told me to be very proud of my student. I replied that discussions about cyber safety and proper use of social media were topics of regular discussion in my classroom. He went on to say that he had been asking the same question of adults and children of all ages for a number of years. My student, he explained, was the only one who had ever gotten the right answer.

A teacher always hopes that his students are listening and understanding the things they discuss in the classroom. I took my student aside after the presentations. He beamed as I told him about my conversation. He left the presentation full of pride and confidence. His good work had been affirmed by the adults in his world.

Rick

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Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids

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