Why are we arguing that social networking does not have neg. effect on school & learning?

Here’s the article from the BBC for context:
Social networking ‘damaging school work’ say teachers

In reading through my twitter feed, I read many educators who seem angry about this article by the BBC. Some say kids have always wanted to connect with each other, this is no different. Others say to stop blaming the tools.

It seems that every time someone mentions social networking as having potentially negative effects on learning there is an uproar – “stop blaming the tools that you don’t understand!” Why is it such a bad thing to point the finger at social networking tools?

The big gun as of late is, without a doubt, facebook. I know some students (and adults) who are ALWAYS connected to facebook. Always. I have a friend (in his late 30s) who wakes up when his blackberry goes off in the middle of the night with a facebook notification. Old students of mine do the same. In theory, it should be a great way to connect with others in our social networks. I used it to connect with students when I was teaching upper grades. It has become much more than simply a way to connect with one’s network though.

Advertising
Facebook is cluttered with advertisement. It is designed to keep its users on as long as possible, with its newsfeed that updates at alarming rates so that we can be sure not to miss anything! with it’s friend suggestions, it’s old picture reminders, it’s game notifications – “Jack just scored 86 000 000 in bubble smash, can you beat his score?”… And that is not counting the actual advertisements in the sidebar that are geared to your recent google searches. Ever since I became pregnant I am seeing advertisements in the right sidebar with a pregnancy theme, or those ads that use your friends to help catch your eye – “Jack is a fan of blablabla”.

Social networking, at least on facebook, has become so much more than that. It is a tangled web of advertising destined to keep us tethered to the network. OF COURSE it can get in the way of learning. Why is this being argued against?

Attachment
One of the biggest concerns of Attachment Theorists is when children attach themselves to their peers instead of a caring, concerned adult in such a way that the peer set becomes the moral compass instead of the adult. Social networks facilitate peer attachment in ways that just aren’t possible without them. Children (I’m thinking middle/high schoolers but it does happen at the elementary level as well) can be ‘friends’ online without actually being friends in person, or they can lurk other people’s profiles without being part of their circle (unless the profile is set to private, which I don’t see much of with the younger set). By spending so much time online attachments can happen that are completely artificial. Sure this can happen without facebook, but it is exponentially greater with it.

I use social networks. There are times when I waste too much time on them. But I know that I am wasting time. I don’t allow them to interrupt my sleep. I don’t identify my ‘real world’, tangible relationships with those I barely communicate with online. When I need to get work done I stay away from them (unless I need to procrastinate) because I know that some are designed to keep me tethered to the web.

But children who are increasingly identifying their networks with their facebook network don’t. Why should they? They are too often targeted by telephone companies advertising the latest phones to keep you connected.

Have you read Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart?

The most slicing satire in this novel, however, is reserved for the technologized culture of everyday urban life; Shteyngart is the Joseph Heller of the information age. His characters carry networked devices called äppäräti wherever they go, emitting (willingly or not) such data as their cholesterol and stress levels, credit rankings, self-esteem and relationship history, as well as their off-the-cuff evaluations of friends and strangers. “Learn to rate everyone around you,” a co-worker admonishes Lenny: The instantaneously broadcasted metrics include such categories as Personality, Sustainability and F***ability. When a friend suggests that they “FAC” while hanging out in a bar, clueless Lenny has to be told that this acronym means “‘Form A Community’ … It’s, like, a way to judge people. And let them judge you.” (Lenny, by the way, comes in last place among 40 in the category of “Male Hotness.”) Laura Miller of Salon.com

Perhaps if learning were somehow completely embedded in social networking it would be less negatively affected. Then again, perhaps more. I don’t know. But I do know that we should not be arguing that it does not have negative effects on learning and school.

Why are we arguing that social networking does not have a negative effect on school & learning?

**originally published on 2010-11-20 09:10:44**

Here’s the article from the BBC for context:
Social networking ‘damaging school work’ say teachers

In reading through my twitter feed, I read many educators who seem angry about this article by the BBC. Some say kids have always wanted to connect with each other, this is no different. Others say to stop blaming the tools.

It seems that every time someone mentions social networking as having potentially negative effects on learning there is an uproar – “stop blaming the tools that you don’t understand!” Why is it such a bad thing to point the finger at social networking tools?

The big gun as of late is, without a doubt, facebook. I know some students (and adults) who are ALWAYS connected to facebook. Always. I have a friend (in his late 30s) who wakes up when his blackberry goes off in the middle of the night with a facebook notification. Old students of mine do the same. In theory, it should be a great way to connect with others in our social networks. I used it to connect with students when I was teaching upper grades. It has become much more than simply a way to connect with one’s network though.

Advertising
Facebook is cluttered with advertisement. It is designed to keep its users on as long as possible, with its newsfeed that updates at alarming rates so that we can be sure not to miss anything! with it’s friend suggestions, it’s old picture reminders, it’s game notifications – “Jack just scored 86 000 000 in bubble smash, can you beat his score?”… And that is not counting the actual advertisements in the sidebar that are geared to your recent google searches. Ever since I became pregnant I am seeing advertisements in the right sidebar with a pregnancy theme, or those ads that use your friends to help catch your eye – “Jack is a fan of blablabla”.

Social networking, at least on facebook, has become so much more than that. It is a tangled web of advertising destined to keep us tethered to the network. OF COURSE it can get in the way of learning. Why is this being argued against?

Attachment
One of the biggest concerns of Attachment Theorists is when children attach themselves to their peers instead of a caring, concerned adult in such a way that the peer set becomes the moral compass instead of the adult. Social networks facilitate peer attachment in ways that just aren’t possible without them. Children (I’m thinking middle/high schoolers but it does happen at the elementary level as well) can be ‘friends’ online without actually being friends in person, or they can lurk other people’s profiles without being part of their circle (unless the profile is set to private, which I don’t see much of with the younger set). By spending so much time online attachments can happen that are completely artificial. Sure this can happen without facebook, but it is exponentially greater with it.

I use social networks. There are times when I waste too much time on them. But I know that I am wasting time. I don’t allow them to interrupt my sleep. I don’t identify my ‘real world’, tangible relationships with those I barely communicate with online. When I need to get work done I stay away from them (unless I need to procrastinate) because I know that some are designed to keep me tethered to the web.

But children who are increasingly identifying their networks with their facebook network don’t. Why should they? They are too often targeted by telephone companies advertising the latest phones to keep you connected.

Have you read Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart?

The most slicing satire in this novel, however, is reserved for the technologized culture of everyday urban life; Shteyngart is the Joseph Heller of the information age. His characters carry networked devices called äppäräti wherever they go, emitting (willingly or not) such data as their cholesterol and stress levels, credit rankings, self-esteem and relationship history, as well as their off-the-cuff evaluations of friends and strangers. “Learn to rate everyone around you,” a co-worker admonishes Lenny: The instantaneously broadcasted metrics include such categories as Personality, Sustainability and F***ability. When a friend suggests that they “FAC” while hanging out in a bar, clueless Lenny has to be told that this acronym means “‘Form A Community’ … It’s, like, a way to judge people. And let them judge you.” (Lenny, by the way, comes in last place among 40 in the category of “Male Hotness.”) Laura Miller of Salon.com

Perhaps if learning were somehow completely embedded in social networking it would be less negatively affected. Then again, perhaps more. I don’t know. But I do know that we should not be arguing that it does not have negative effects on learning and school.

Psst…the sentences are out!

I’ve released the sentences at Enseigner, C’est Agir (Teaching is a Verb) because of technical difficulties Leading from the Heart had last week.

Go quick, run! Read, listen to, see, comment on this week’s batch of sentences!

Our Sentences Released – and Illustrated :)

Our sentences released – and illustrated :)

Hello everyone!
I’ve put our sentences together in a 5 page voicethread, which you can view and listen to below. I’d love comments to be on the voicethread, since that is what it is made for after all! but feel free to comment in the comment box if that is more your thing :)

Here are the text copies of the sentences, with links to the authors’ blogs when provided:

Clean slate/Planning for the future

The report cards are finished for the first marking period, and now we can all start with a clean slate!
kelalford

A mid-November warm spell has been the perfect addition to the sense of calm that comes with the clean slate of second quarter, now one-week underway.
Amanda Cornwell

Without any pending deadlines or upcoming workshops I find myself falling into inactivity and stupor, time to search for another project.
Dawn Vandervloed

Finally, at the point in my new job, I am able to make a plan 5 weeks into the future, sweet!
Cheryl Oakes

This four-day weekend has been a long time coming, but I feel that at last my students and I are beginning to find our way out of the chaos of beginning middle school.
Lynn Jacobs

Download, upload, last minute instructions, selecting clothes, excitement leads to NWP next week.
Mary in Missouri

I have ten weeks to go before this little boy enters my life – lots to plan for and friends are coming today to help me do some of the more physical, moving furniture preparations so that I don’t hurt myself again!
Tracy

Personal obstacles

How about a little dissertation haiku? It pretty much sums up everything “write” now! lol

Coding all the data
Really what was I thinking
Taking way too long
Linda704

It’s official: my first head cold of the season and it’s very bad timing, but then when is it ever good timing :) One thing’s for sure, I will feel better soon.
Bonnie K.

My week was anything but action-packed with two sick kids at home forcing me to slow down but the news this week out of Tweed in NYC about the exit of one schools chancellor and the entrance of another got my brain racing!
Nancy

Weather

As we approach summer in southern Australia, we have had some great sunny days this week which has lifted our spirits both at home and at school, only to find the weekend overcast and raining – hope our warm summer days come soon.
Anne Mirtschin


Collaboration

Collaboration entices more connections and makes you a more fulfilled person and educator.
Carla Arena

Working with kids

I am sad that my Rocky Horror Picture Show tickets are on the same night as our school culture production,
but also excited to see our kids perform.
Shaun Wood

I had a prepared speech all ready to go for our school’s Veteran’s Day assembly, only to make the last-second decision to wing it with the microphone when the wind whipped up, the volume on the PA seemed too low, and the students seemed a bit too antsy — it all went fine.
Kevin Hodgson

He read something he cared about–making money, and he has been reading more and more carefully than ever before.
Ben@TIC

Time to collect some sentences!

Hi everyone. It’s that time again, I’m asking you all to come up with some descriptive sentences to illustrate your day/week/month/year/state of mind as we enter the 2nd week, no, is it the third? (this daylight savings thing has me all confused) of November.

Here are my plans – to put out the call for sentences (with Bonnie’s help :), to collect them throughout the week, and then to search for images that ‘go’ with them in order to post them as a combination of audio and text blurbs in a voicethread at the end of the week. If you feel like creating your own voicethread for your sentence, go ahead, and I’ll incorporate it into the final product.

So…what’s on your mind this start of daylight savings week? (which, by the way, I think is quite cruel. Last week we teachers had to deal with Sunday night Halloween fallout, this week, with messed up clock fall out.)