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Thursday, November 06, 2008

'The parents' fault. Not.'

Those are the words of tech educator Will Richardson, who in his blog tells of a conversation with a high school principal. Richardson had said in his presentation that no one was teaching young people how to use social-network sites well. So the principal told Richardson he was teaching them - when he hauls them into his office, shows them the nasty stuff he'd found on their profiles, and watches the "genuine astonishment" on their faces that he'd found their profiles. Clearly that cluelessness was their parents' fault, the principal indicated. Richardson thought not, but the solution is not the one-shot "parent awareness night" or "some type of scary Internet predator presentation by a state policeman." He continued: "For the life of me, I can't understand what is so hard about opening up the first and second and third grade curriculum and finding ways to integrate these skills and literacies in a systemic way. If you want kids to be educated about these tools and environments, then maybe we should, um, educate them." Hear, hear! But here's a literacy we can integrate into our kids' lives too: life literacy, learning how to function in community (online as well as offline), learning treat others as we'd like: Tech-etiquette basics like "no texting or talking during dinner." [See also "Cellphone etiquette."]

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