Friday, February 8, 2008

Online Safety

Middle-school learners in classes I lead are involved in the Protecht Project about online safety. This week while we were working on our project, two remarkable things happened.
The first involved another adult learner who was very concerned about the Project's question of the week about scams. The k12 learners responded with appropriate answers verbally (when assured by the adults that it was ok) and online in writing. I have been facilitating online safety lessons and was so glad to see that these lessons seem to be having an impact.
The second involved another adult learner, Wes Fryer. He presented about digital citizenship to our group. I was able to join the Ustream with three 8th graders (computer at my school is an elective). We were all able to interact live in the chatroom while we heard Wes present. I immediately started in backchanneling - something I think surprised learners at my school.
Effective digital citizens whom we teach today in our k12 schools need skills to interact in chatrooms safely while absorbing content. Many learners across the nation got the opportunity to do just that on Thursday. Many more opportunities will be needed before they graduate.
We want employable, creative, & economically competitive citizens for our futures. We will be the retirees when the generation in k12 schools now are employees supporting us. How will we prepare them?
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