Ed Tech Thoughts on the Space Coast

internet safety

Where Do Social Networks Fit Into the Student's Educational Experience?

This Fall's Rock Our World Collaboration project is #11 in a series pioneered by Apple Distinguished Educator, Carol Anne McGuire. The success and enthusiasm for this project have created tremendous interest from international education observers, theorists, and practitioners.

In fact, ROW #11 has been selected to be the subject of a documentary by Cameron & David Barrett and their production company,
RIcom Creative. Their Executive Producer, Terry Sanders, a two-time Academy Award winning director/producer, will make "Harmony: The Story of Rock Our World."

So amongst the requests of the documentary makers, is the request for a more open/public view of the process- and Carol Anne has established a Ning community for planning and exchanging ideas. Within a few days of open registrations, she had a
spammer join the Ning and begin to offer some Google™ - based marketing opportunity. Distracting at worse and harmless in the view of most – it did cause us to pause and rethink the open community model. What if it had been someone more offensive or harmful?

Mutual friend and digital education diva, Lucy Gray made the observation this summer at the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute that personal learning community memberships should (usually) be managed. Lucy has established a number of Nings that are quite popular including the Global Education Collaborative, and she also had a problem with enterprising posers dropping in to the community for commercial interests outside of the Ning’s mission.

So if membership is closed, who is it closed to?
Now we have to pass judgement, set policy, and review each applicant to our community?
Although it may sound contrary to our desire for open dialog, it is one of those time-honored policies that are being reinterpreted in a new context. Not everyone one and every message is permitted access to our physical school’s campus.

Especially where students are concerned, we need to define our mission and regulate our participants based on that mission.