Saturday, March 7, 2009

Any Value to Social Networking?

So according to Will Richardson, "The world is changing because of social web technologies. Our kids are using them. No one is teaching them how to use them to their full learning potential, and ultimately, as teachers and learners, that’s our responsibility. To do that, we need to be able to learn in these contexts for ourselves."


Richard goes on to provide a reference: a piece in the Harvard Graduate School of Education magazine Ed. titled “Thanks for the Add. Now Help Me with my Homework.” As Richardson points out "Harvard" and "research" might be cause for notice.

Some points made:
  • A virtual creative writing boom among students spending long hours writing stories and poetry to paste on their blogs for feedback from friends, or creating videos on social issues to bring awareness to a cause
  • Skills students are developing on social networking sites, are the very same 21st century skills that educators have identified as important for the next generation of knowledge workers — empathy, appreciation for diversity of viewpoints, and an ability to multitask and collaborate with peers on complex projects
  • A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers cited this spring in The New York Times found that more than half of employers now use SNSs to network with job candidates.
  • "Perhaps even more important than the impact of social networking on the classroom, however is the impact that the classroom can have on social networking, by teaching students how to be responsible "digital citizens" online. At their most basic level, these sites can be launching points to discussions on Internet ethics. "If we want kids to be digital citizens, we must model that behavior for them," says Greenhow. As it stands now, however, most schools do the exact opposite, actively discouraging student use of social networking sites by blocking them on school computers -- sending the message that they are dangerous or inappropriate. As Wiske says, "A lot of people can do a lot of damage driving cars, but we shouldn't tell kids not to drive cars."

There's MORE: Read the entire Will Richardson post The “Added Value of Networking.”


These are the things I learned:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

I came across the following application of Robert Fulghum's list; something to think about:
"Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cool Resources I Found Today


The FUNDRED DOLLAR BILL PROJECT is an innovative artwork made of millions of drawings. This creative collective action is intended to support OPERATION PAYDIRT, an extraordinary art/science project uniting three million children with educators, scientists, health care professionals, designers, urban planners, engineers and artists. Together they are working to make safe the lead polluted soil of New Orleans that places thousands of children at risk for severe learning disabilities and behavioral problems, including violent crime.

At the Smithsonian American Art Museum "Eye Level" Blog, there is a great entry on understanding and responding to the portrait Godly Susan by Roger Medearis.

"The choices artists make about what to include in their work and how to do it are very interesting, whether they are part of a larger, moral message or something more personal. You can make a close reading of a painting by simply looking, but there are some things that cannot be uncovered without doing a little more research. Maybe you'll need to pull out an old art history textbook, or do some reading on the artist. Everything is intentional!"