Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reading at Edina High School

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of reading to 10th Grade Language Arts classes at Edina High School. Since they are all blogging, I decided to read a blog post that I thought would be of interest to them.
I chose a recent post by Doug "Blue Skunk" Johnson, titled Facebook-An Educational Resource? In the post, Doug explains his philosophy regarding blocking sites for student access and the things he will be sharing with principals in his district about social networking sites like Facebook.

I talked to the students a bit about our filter, and why we block sites like Youtube. Since our network sees a 10th grade student the same way it sees a 1st grader, and Youtube has content that may not be appropriate for 1st graders, it needs to be blocked. (I won't go into the question of whether Youtube has educationally appropriate content, or whether our network should be reconfigured to differentiate between 1st and 10th graders...)

After reading Doug's post, I asked them if they felt that access to Facebook would enhance their learning or be a distraction. Of the 180 students who I asked, 9 felt it would enhance their learning. They were also able to specifically give examples of how it would help, such as groups for each class, collaboration, one stop shopping (So they didn't have to also log in to Edline for assignments).

The remaining students either had no opinion, felt it would be a distraction, or didn't want teachers "spoiling their world".

In any event, it provided for some lively discussion!

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