Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week 2 - Editorial: Examining Social Software...

"Social software provides opportunities, both bad and good,
for our future teachers and for their students" (Ferdig, 2007).

Although I am definitely on board with social software and its appeal to bring the classroom into the new millennium, Ferdig's article implants the notion that teachers may need to approach the use of social software with caution.

"This particular student’s main Facebook page had a personal photo in a
very suggestive pose with two other scantily-clad students. The majority of
the photos in the gallery were taken with the student obviously under some
influence—some of the photos with the source of the influence in the student’s
hand" (Ferdig, 2007).

As a college professor, Ferdig probably did not feel liable to treat the findings on his student's Facebook page as something more than actions of a typical of a college student. He probably laughed at some of the photos and thought about his own silly college days. However, what if Ferdig was a K-12 teacher? What if that particular student was a 15 year-old in his 10th grade PE class? Would he have a different reaction? Would he be liable to forward this information to his parents, administration, and/or authorities?

Although social software is a great tool to relate to students, maintain contact with them, and even create assignments around, K-12 teachers need to proceed with caution. With that understood, teachers of all levels have the ability to socially connect with their students via social software. Thus having the ability to implement lessons in a forum socially desirable in this technological world.

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