Thursday, March 22, 2007

Musings about Social Networking

Administrators across the United States are cracking down on what students post in their online social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Other administrators are outraged at such blatant crack downs, censorship, and violations of privacy. Where are the student voices in this conflict? What do students feel should be done about social networking content? Are Facebook and MySpace inherently evil? Could they be used in education for a higher purpose? Is correct student and parent education the key? What are your thoughts?

Educating the school faculty, parent, and student body about the promise and perils of online social networking sites is crucial in building understanding and effective communication. Educating school faculty and administration is a tough task, yet someone has to do it in order to help foster open communication with students. Overreacting is one sure-fire way to get kids to flock to the very sites adults wish they would avoid. Sticking one's proverbial head in the sand will not solve any problems either. In fact, it may escalate the problem as students are left to discover on their own what promises and perils social networking sites offer them. Leaving a student uneducated about both the good and the bad aspects of the internet and social networking sites is like begging a student to drive a car without parent teaching and modeling and a driver education course. Effective education is imperative.

How does one go about this arduous task of educating people that likely do not want to be educated? Start small, talk often, and don't give up. If you reach one person, that person in turn will affect at least one more, and the cycle begins. Most will not come voluntarily to workshops due to ignorance and fear of ridicule. Network like crazy and do not be afraid to say that you do not know something. Share, share, share, and receive opinions and information openly. Take news articles, internet postings, etc. and turn them into teaching moments. Ask students what could have been done differently, ask administrators to assess their initial gut reaction and to critique other reactions by administration across the United States and even the world. You will face some setbacks as students and administrators make choices that you will not agree with personally. Persevere and educate yourself and others further. This can be done. You can do this as a student, parent, teacher, or administrator. YOU make a difference.

How would Huck Finn would fare in today's technologically-savvy society in the face of such ardent controversy?

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Diocesan English In-Service


The presentation and handouts from the March 12, 2007 Diocesan English In-Service can be found on my class wiki here.

Thank you.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


This is Mrs. Chiasson's literature discussion blog. As I begin this blog my goal is to foster an ongoing discussion between all of my students this year beginning with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Rules of this blog:
  • Others will be able to view this blog, so use your best grammar and language.
  • Use only your first name (and last initial when necessary) when posting comments.
  • I will moderate all comments and post appropriate comments only.

I would eventually like to have a discussion about a novel between two schools in different areas of the region, state, or world.

Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy your time with a book!