Friday, September 10, 2010

Using Facebook with Students Becomes A Global Conversation via CNN

While some educational leaders are putting out a call to action for parents to ban their students from using social media others are working with students as early as 1st grade to help them use social media responsibly and connect with parents. In my widely popular post this summer, I shared 8 Real Ways Facebook Enriched Ms. Schoening’s First Grade Class. The post received thousands of hits and was featured on the Facebook in Education page. While initially Ms. Schoening was a bit concerned that Facebook would be upset that she disregarded their policy of users being 13 years of age, she was ecstatic to find when she was contacted by the social media Goliath, that not only did they applaud what she was doing, but they were thinking of how they could revise their policy so other innovative educators could follow her lead.

Since then she has been contacted by educators and media across the globe and recently wrote thanking me for the blog post about her project. She shared that she couldn't believe how many people had contacted her about trying it out. She also applauded me for helping to turn what she was doing remotely with my first grade class in Nebraska into a global conversation!

Well, global it really is now, as the story was just featured on CNN.

The story was initially picked up a few days prior by the local ABC news affiliate in this piece
Facebook In Bluffs Schools Keeps Parents Updated.

While Ms. Schoening is lauded both locally, nationally, and even internationally, it is disappointing that not all teachers are able to work under such enlightened leadership.
Unfortunately there are still educational leaders like the one below who are creating artificial school and home environments for their students and banning them from using social media. Sadly, students under such leadership won't be armed with the skills they need to succeed outside of the fabricated school environment...thank goodness the word is spreading, that there is another, better way to prepare our students for success. Embrace and empower leadership is more effective then the block and ban mantra observed in many districts.

Which school district would you rather have your child attending? One that bans their students fro using social media or the one that empowers them to harness its power?

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