Facebook, youtube .. all banned in our schools. Is this really the answer? Should we ban two of the most popular websites in the world in our classrooms? Is that not contradicting what we as teachers are instructed to do .. ie. ICT? I find this really interesting. I believe if we ban the use of these sites in our classrooms we essentially are creating the problem. If students are going to abuse the use of these sites, they will do so whether it is banned at school or not. If we allowed our students to use these sites in supervised situations look at the possibilites! An assignment could be to ask as many facebook friends as possible about different activities they loved doing in their classroom. These ideas could then be brought back to their classroom, shared with the students and teacher, and then maybe even implemented. The sharing of resources through students .. that's cool! As for youtube .. banned? really? Look how many classes in university where we have sat down to an informational video via youtube. It is an excellent resource and as far as I am concerned one that MUST be not only incorporated into the class, but also 'searching' and 'how to use' must be introduced to the students. They need to keep up with all these new tools and technologies or they will fall behind in the world - and is our job not to prepare them?!
Another tidbit with facebook that I am torn over is whether or not teachers should have it? We walk into orientation for education, our first exposure to this program, and we leave more nervous and scared then when we got there. 'Do not have facebook, do not be on the internet, do not.. do not.. This is all we hear. But why? Just because I am a teacher I cannot have a life .. What about the doctors in town .. should they not have facebook .. what about lawyers .. what about the grocery store clerks .. they are not professionals? I hate to burst bubbles here but last time I checked I wanted to be a teacher not the Queen of England (that being said if she had facebook I would be totally ok with that). Yes, I want to teach children, and yes I need to be responsible to do so .. but so does the daycare worker, the babysitters, the nannies, the doctors, etc. Having some pictures up of me out with my friends, having a good time, being social .. I really do not see the problem in that. Obviously my pictures are not going to be me acting out of control but they will be me having fun. So now an employer sees me out and about in the pictures so they will not hire me? Instead they are going to hire the male/female that has no friends, no social skills - but dont worry they stayed home and studied .. ? My personal view of education is that the people with the best people skills, funnest attitudes, responsible personalities - those are the ones who will be successful. Those are the people who will send your kids home wanting to come back to school, wanting to learn more .. This 'student motivation' has been put on the back burner - we are suppose to meet outcomes --> not have fun, not try and get the kids to want to learn .. I think this is beginning to change and we will be the ones to aid in doing so! :-) I guess we will live and learn .. Ban and Unban .. until we find a system everyone wants.. it is a work in progress.