Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Optimistic about social web

Facebook, msn, twitter and similar online services can be huge challenges in classrooms when they steal pupils' attention from whatever we would like them to focus on. I must admit that this occasionally (understatement) happens in my classroom when my class is supposed to work individually on some assignment I have given them. They each have their own laptop and they are all online, so the temptation to chat or play sometimes becomes too much. Despite this, I am not one of those who propose we ban social web in schools altogether, because while the internet sometimes steals time, it also gives us access to...well, the whole world, more or less. In stead of returning to an offline existence in class, I think we just need to give ourselves time to figure out how we can make web 2.0 work with us and for us, rather than against us. A number of excellent people are doing great work to get us there and I insist on staying optimistic. In these in so many ways challenging times it is (oh, this is going to be a cliché, forgive me!) absolutely necessary to focus on the possibilities rather than the limitations (I warned you!). Comments? Photo: Twitter pack

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