I was at a meeting this past week to look at the technology plan for our school district. The woman leading the plan development started the session with a 4:18 minute You Tube video slide show titled Social Media Revolution 2012. The video has a load of statistics and information on the impact of social media on the world especially from a marketers perspective. Most of the information displayed is on Facebook, You Tube and Twitter.
What I found interesting about the use of this video to start the 2 hour meeting was that later in the meeting individuals attending (about 25 individuals including Principles, Students, Parents, Teachers, Board of Ed members and the district superintendent) we learn that access to Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and pretty much all social media is blocked for student access in the school if they are using any school device. I had to laugh at this because the desire to ‘control’ access and content by the parents and school seems to very much like China and runs very contrary to what the video was promoting. So why start the meeting with something students don’t have access to in the school?
Seems to me we as parents, educators and BOE members need to stop accepting misuse and start expecting good use of technology and social media by students. How that is done is by simply educating and working with our students to help them understand appropriate behaviour and action on the internet and in life in general. It is not just the schools or the parents that need to do this but it is a partnership built on trust that will allow students to meet expectations and to have the ability to use social media wisely. To me trying to block and censor access and content only breeds discontent, resentment and pent-up emotions that promote rebel without a cause behaviour!
Leaving the meeting I was further amused by the bulletin board across from the district offices. On it was a flyer. “Follow-us on Facebook”. Hummmmmmm