Making an impact

On Oct. 30 I wrote about a presentation I gave to our High School student body on Oct. 29th. To date it was one of the hardest presentations I’ve had to give. Talking to students about their spaces, about their future, and trying to make an impact that lasted well after the 45 minute presentation. I wore jeans, a loose shirt, and wanted them to view me as a friend, not another adult telling them to “Get off of facebook”.

studentpresonov2007Today, I visited two of the facebook.com groups that our students here started and that I used in the presentation. As you may or may not know groups in facebook are public. Meaning anyone with a facebook account can search, view, and join other public groups. For the presentation I took pictures from different groups I found and used them to show that you can’t control information once it’s on the web. That anyone has access to things you post, groups you belong to, and the people you call your friends.

I told the students during the presentation that I love belonging to groups too, but if you create or administer a group you have the right…and obligation to make sure it is a site that you want your name attached to. I talked about ‘stepping up’ and showing Universities and future employers that you understand the power of the web. That you know there is responsibilites that come with posting information in this open, public place we call the Internet.

I’m happy to report that visiting the two groups today here is the message I was greeted with:

ATTENTION
**To create the safe environment, safe privacy, and profanity free environment, adjustment were, and will be made**

and

******* IMPORTANT *******October 29th, 2007:Recently Shanghai American School staff have discovered this group and used it as an example of an unsafe, inappropriate internet social network in a school-wide assembly (including the pictures in the album). Initially this group was NOT meant to be an inappopriate group or contain sexually explicit material, so PLEASE help keep it that way. Teachers and staff and anyone will be able to view anything you post here since it’s a public group and I am keeping it that way, because I mean it when I say this group was not created to toe the lines of unsafe internet conduct. Personally I don’t understand why people see this group that way. Anyway, this is just a reminder. If you feel like you have to delete or add anything please feel free to do so. Thanks.

Gotta tell you. I’m proud of them. They took it to heart, and are making changes to their online profiles so that they reflect the kind of person they want to be. This is a great generation. They do understand the power the Internet and being connected holds…heck they’ve created it! Helping them and educating them to use it in a positive way is what today’s education system should be all about!

[tags]21st Century Education, SAS[/tags]

Technorati Tags: ,