Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. ~ John Dewey

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Is there anything that hasn’t gone social? I spent four days in the Willamette Valley of Oregon visiting some wineries and checking in to all of them on FourSquare...because that’s what you do when you’re a geek.

What I wasn’t expecting was for the wineries to have specials on FourSquare. 10% of a purchase at one and at another they donated $1 to a reading program for every FourSquare check in.

Another winery I checked into started following me on FourSquare, found me on Twitter and then tweeted

Churches have Facebook pages

My hot dog guy that I go to before every Mariners game asked me to friend him on Facebook.

The more I look around and see everything going social the more I am trying to figure out if there is any industry left that hasn’t gone social?

Oh….right….education.

Why? Why would a place that is all about community and relationships (words found in almost every mission statement) fight the very idea of creating them, fostering them and using them?

Why are so many schools scared to go social?

How many schools out there have verified their school on FourSquare and started using it with students?

How many schools out there have a Facebook page and actually use it to foster the relationships connected to it?

Twitter?

Google Plus?

Pinerest?

What-ever-the-next-one-will-be-called?

We are quickly getting to a point where if you are not going to connect with people via social networks then you are not getting out information in a very efficient way.

Education needs to stop fighting the social connection revolution and start to find ways to use it to connect their community both within the school and with the larger community.

From Venturebeat.com

The girl, 17, had been helping her grandmother count the 72-year-old woman’s personal savings. Apparently wishing to impress her friends and the world at large, the teen snapped a picture of the cash and uploaded it to Facebook.

Within hours, masked robbers showed up at the girl’s own house with a knife and a club, breaking in and stealing cash and personal possessions from the teen’s 47-year-old mother.

I read this the other day and was wondering if this girl ever was taught about social networking and where her information goes. 

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I then starting thinking about the autonomy I had as say a 13 year old. My parents knew where I was 99% of the time, knew who I was hanging out with, who I was talking with and where I was physically…seeing there was no digital place for me to be yet. 

I think about the autonomy a 13 year old has today. The autonomy to post, talk, respond, take a photo with anyone they want without parents knowing about it…and being able to share with people that their parents might not know. 

These are new behaviors we need to be teaching in schools. We teach how to share, in the physical world. We teach how to cooperate, in the physical world. We teach how to stay away from danger in the physical world. But do we teach these same skills in the new digital sense? Why not?

If we know we are all spending more time online, in online relationships and communicating more online than in person these days, why are we not teaching these social-networking skills?

We talk about making friends, in the physical world. We talk about what it means to be a good friends, how good friends trust each other and how good friends watch out for each other….in the physical world. 

Are we teaching social-networking in the digital world as well? If not are we doing our students, our community, our society a disservice?

“I want my student to be found, he already has 3,000 hits on Google.”

How many people are uploading pictures of their babies the day they are born? First and Last name with Birth Day.

84 Billion Dollars spend on a filter in Australia cracked in 30 minutes by a 16 year old.

Over 50% of schools in the US prohibit social networking….and there is no law saying they have to.

Most policies are vastly different than most educators think.

CIPA

11/08 Update: Educating minors about appropriate online behavior

CIPA left vague on purpose.

All you have to do is try your best to block porn.

Mapping the Filter: What do you Block ~ Will Richardson

“We’ve decided that we will no longer use the web filter as a classroom management tool.” ~ Bud Hunt

Walled Garden Wiki ~ Miguel Guhlin

College Confidential ~ Students create a site to help other students get into college