The idea of technology in education is to enhance learning, not limit it. Yet a large portion of students say teachers and school IT departments are doing just that: throwing up barriers to learning with the very technology that's supposed to facilitate it. And teachers, administrators, and parents seem to be largely unaware of this, according to the results of the 2007 Speak Up survey released Tuesday by Project Tomorrow.
It is a great observation. It also highlights the importance of conscious efforts to address the issue of Internet Safety in a balanced approach. If our ET (education technology) department is not proactive in addressing the Internet Safety issue by actively engaging in training of teachers and educating of students to be safe and responsible users of Internet technology, it would then leave the decision making to the IT department, which would turn to technical solutions. That is, filtering, blocking, and denying access to the vast pool of digital content for fear of incompliance with the federal or state legislations or laws. Therefore, the ET community has to mobilize and engage in a campaine to educate students to be safe, responsible and ethical users of Internet technologies and empower students to become appropriate and guarded users.
Ah the joys of litigation...if schools were safeguarded somehow from the occasion "oh my did you see what happened?!", I believe they would be more open to trying out new technologies. My biggest fear is this, what is going to happen when the technologies are so small and so compact that we cannot "hide" the Internet from our students? Isn't the time now? Cellphones are more than capable of accessing the Internet without filters. Applications can run clearly on the iPhone. Tey-yuan, yes, by talking about Internet Safety in our daily use of technology, and reinforcing safety measures, students can become more aware of the dangers and learn to use the Internet in safe and manageable ways. I believe that even with the plethora of sites on the Internet, that the occasion misuse does not merit the blocking of all sites unseen. I would like to take an anonymous poll about how many of us have had to deal with some large scale lawsuit regarding Internet concerns. I don't believe that would be many but perhaps I am mistaken. All I know is students want technology but sometimes can't define why. Sometimes I feel like they are already waiting for the next thing to appear...and we are still grappling with the old.
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