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Today’s class began with some embedding.  Dr. Marcovitz embedded our last class summary into the agenda as well as a poll from “poll code”.  We listened to “The Professor Vs. Wikipedia” which led us into a discussion of whether Wikipedia is appropriate in schools.  
The class voted on the next two subjects to learn about.  We chose JavaScript and Social/Virtual networks for kids.  Class concluded with individual/group work time. 

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11 comments

  1. Answer one of the following questions

    a.) What is your opinion regarding young children in social/virtual networks? Are they too young to participate or does it help them prepare for future endeavors into social networking?

    b.) What is a unique challenge with one of your projects due for our next class? How is it different than challenges posed in our previous projects?

    1. Stacey · · Reply

      I feel that social networking for children prepares them for a technological world. They will be used to communicating through social networking which will allow them to feel comfortable in many aspects of their adult life. On the other hand, I think that some children start social networking way too young. This type of communication takes away from real life social interaction and creates adults with a lack of social skills. If children must participate in social networking, it should be well monitored by parents.

  2. Kate Miller · · Reply

    I think social networking is a great tool for our students when it is properly monitored. Many times people rely on “safety” tools on the website, when those aren’t always enough. As a teacher there is only so much I can monitor at school- but it’s important for parents to be aware of what their child is doing online. As a teacher I can try to teach my students appropriate “netiquette” so that way they can behave in a way that will not harm their reputation or image, or foster bad behavior in their actual real lives. With social networking- it’s not going anywhere and like Wikipedia- they are going to use it anyway- so we should teach them how to use it responsibly so they can use it the right way in order to get the most out of it.

  3. A challenge we are facing while creating our project is that there aren’t any projects created that are that similar to ours. We have to create ours from scratch without having any references. It will be interesting to see if our project is one we can actually use to connect with students from different parts of the US.

  4. Mollie · · Reply

    I think social networking sites should not be used with elementary school students. I feel they can be used with middle school and high school students in moderation. The content on the sites we explored in class (especially Whyville.net) was highly inappropriate for young children. I understand some of the parent views about their children learning money sense and other lessons, but it shouldn’t be used until middle or high school. I worry if these social networks are going to become our sole mode of communication in the future. Technology is powerful, but should not take over every interaction in our students’ lives.

  5. a) I think that when it deals with social networks/virtual worlds, you have to ask yourself, “What I am trying to accomplish with my students?” I think once you can answer that, as a teacher, it will be easier to find the technologies to fit the lesson.

    Once this technology is chosen, in this case social networking/virtual worlds, the teacher has to make sure that these sites are safe for students. She/he also has to intentionally teach about commenting and appropriate behaviors on these sites.

    I don’t believe that teachers should incorporate these technologies, like Facebook for example, just because they are the “in” thing to do. For me, at this point, I would feel a little more comfortable (and I think it would be more professional for me) to teach these skills using Web 2.0 tools like Edmodo, Edublogs, etc. These provide safe forums to teach these skills by allowing the teacher to moderate what is going on and doesn’t allow for potentially dangerous users to contact students.

  6. I think that the type of network is important. The examples we looked at yesterday seemed to have no apparent educational value but was used more as a form of entertainment. I believe there are ways to link children up with each other that does not have to do with games. By providing students with opportunities to communicate with others in an educational format, will prove to be beneficial for their future social skills.

  7. A challenge for the project that is due for next class was making sure that I got all the requirements for the Participate project and the Website project on my website. I had to make sure I exceeded the usual grade and make sure that all of my codes were correct. I also had to make sure that my site looked presentable and that it made sense so I can use the project in the fall.

  8. In my opinion, I think it\’s acceptable to allow young children to go to sites like Webkinz and Whyville to gain experience in a social networking atmosphere. Like it or not, social networking is how most of our society communicates informally. I think it\’s important that children get experience in this format because I believe more and more we will be utilizing this type of communication in schools.

  9. Kate Mason · · Reply

    The biggest challenge was working out all the kinks in CSS and HTML for the website project. Creating the blog was pretty easy and it was a big jump from a blog to writing code from a full website. I think my problem was wanting it to look like professional website and not just use the basic skills.

  10. I agree with Wes- social networking is important aspect of today’s communication within society. Think about how many people have Facebook, Twitter, etc. I think that’ it’s important for our kids today to have the experience of using social networking sites in order to become accoustomed to the ways todays society communicates. However, I do think that they need to be monitored in order to keep them “safe” and not coming across people/things that they shouldn’t,

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