Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Blogs, MySpace and the Classroom

I received a post from a listserv I subscribe to: TLT-SWG moderated by Steven Gilbert. Links to the full text of the articles are available on their website.

I've excerpted pieces from the post:

REAL QUESTIONS: Can we find ways of using these new “Social Networking” or “Web 2.0” tools responsibly?

To improve teaching and learning?


1. “Most students today arrive at college assuming that a Google search is the first choice for doing research, that MySpace is the model for creating online content and building peer communities, and — perhaps most important — that multitasking with various electronic devices, often from remote locations, is the traditional way to do class work.” - “Beyond Google: What Next for Publishing?” Kate Wittenberg of EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia U.,< kw49@columbia.edu

2. [From a middle school teacher] “Unlike my generation, which tends to use MySpace to keep in touch with friends across the world, the generation of students I teach uses MySpace as a prolonged, entirely unsupervised locker break. This adolescent MySpace is filled with profanity, dangerously personal information, sexually explicit pictures, drug references and, in some cases, even pornographic videos. Usually these posts are riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors. But the message is clear: Anything goes. During this locker break, there are no hall monitors, no teachers watching for trouble and, clearly, few parents who are anywhere nearby.” - “MySpace Gone Wrong,” Cheryl MacPherson, of Gunston Middle School, < macpherson@apsva.us >

3. “…MySpace.com is planning new restrictions on how adults may contact its younger users in response to growing concerns about the safety of teenagers who frequent the popular online social networking site. …MySpace has no mechanism for verifying that users submit their true age when registering. That means adults can sign up as teens and request to join a 14-year-old's list of friends, which would enable the full profiles. …Driven largely by word of mouth, MySpace has grown astronomically since its launch in January 2004 and is now second in the United States among all Web sites by total page views, … The site currently has some 87 million users, about a quarter registered as minors, according to the company.” - “ MySpace Plans New Restrictions for Youths,” Anick Jesdanun,


At 9:32 PM, Blogger laura hyde said...

Myspace use at the high school where I teach is used for recreational and social purposes. One positive aspect that I have seen is the use of Myspace to mourn the loss of a student that was tragically killed in a car accident in April.

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Diane Zuccaro said...

I discussed with the tech supervisor of my High School the possibilities of blogging. She is not 100% in support of blogging but will work with me on setting up guidelines for the students. We have a discussion site on echalk where the students can blog under teacher supervision. I would like to try this in the fall '06.


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