Got Social?

Is WTF vulgar or inappropriate

I’m organizing a roundtable discussion on the use of social media in education.  To get attention, and as an example, I’m thinking about using the acronym WTF in the title.  Is that vulgar or inappropriate.  Does WTF mean the same thing as what the three letters stand for?  Has WTF been seen on TV or heard on radio?  I think it has.  What do you think, take my survey:

[polldaddy poll=4810473]

Naughty kids on Facebook

Last night, on Twitter, Amy Bruckman posted the following

asbruckman: Middle schoolers forced to show principal facebook accounts, then threatened with expulsion for calling teacher names:

The story is about a principal at a school where kids are, what, 11, 12, 13 years old, forced – FORCED a student to show her their Facebook page.  There were some awful things posted about a teacher, with words like pedophile and rapist.  I’m not defending what the kids said or wrote.  This is a parent issues.  These kids are young and their parents should be monitoring what they do on Facebook.

What this principal did was wrong, and I’m not a lawyer but I’d guess it violated the rights of these children.  I know that it was in a public domain, and if that’s the case, and the principal found the comments in a public way, then it is well within her right to take action.  She has no right to FORCE (their words, not mine) this student to show her the Facebook page.

I responded to Amy on Twitter

sorry_afk@asbruckman def. Violation of childs priv. Either facebook is/is not a school thing. Can’t have it both ways. I hope they sue the principal

and someone name Erica Glaser wrote back

EricaGlasier@sorry_afk@asbruckman @ToughLoveforX WDYT of the particular names the students called the teacher? WWYD if you were that teacher’s boss?

To which, someone named ToughLoveForX responded:

@EricaGlasier WID? It’s a eachable moment. Make it part of Public Discourse in skl. Disciplining is the ez way out. @sorry_afk @asbruckman

My response was far too much for 140 characters, so I decided to put it here.

First off, I think the principal should be disciplined.  There was no imminent threat to the school, this is not like opening a kids locker (which is school property anyway, Facebook is not), it’s a somewhat private space, one which schools like these have been arguing, ironically, that should not BE in schools.  And yet…

If I were the parents of these kids, I would file a law suit.  There are checks and balances for authority.

If I were the school system, I would do a community program on the positive AND negative things about social networks – and NOT bring up these kids directly.  Everyone will know, from the press, what the genesis of this is – no need to give these kids more attention than they have already had.

I would also bring the kids AND THEIR PARENTS into school for a conference, and talk about why this happened and how.

I don’t know this teacher in question, but I might want to find out what prompted these comments.  It could very well be a few kids acting out for no reason, and it very likely is the case, but I wouldn’t let this go unquestioned.

So, that is what I would do – right or wrong, and I’m not involved in K-12, I don’t have kids, its easy for me to sit here in my office and write this.  But these things seem logical to me.  The most important thing is, this principal was wrong, with a capital W.


I had the great fortune to attend TEDxNYED on Saturday.  This was the second year I was able to make this awesome event.  Last year we heard from the likes of Lawrence Lessing, Michael Wesch, Henry Jenkins, and Amy Bruckman, just to name a few.  It was an amazing day.  This year was no less amazing, although it was very focused on the K-12 learning environment.  I had a few minutes to chat with Co-Curator Karen Blumberg after the event and she accepted full credit/blame for that.  She must have heard that comment for more than one person, because she was quick to say it was all her doing, almost a little defensively.  I felt bad since I didn’t mean it in a bad way.  I thought she and Basil Kolani did an excellent job with this years events and I really enjoyed all the speakers.

I decided I was NOT going to be one of those tweeting every favorite line, since there would be more than one person doing that.  Besides, I hate when my feed ends up full of line and line after line from people using Twitter as their note pad.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad when people tweet a line or two – just not treating twitter as a LiveBlog.  I’ve included some of the one line notes (I might have tweeted) below.  Toward the end, I lose steam.  I was mentally and physically exhausted by the end of the day.  So the fact that I have no notes for Will Richardson and the others at the end is more a matter of fatigue than that he had nothing interesting to say.  Quite the contrary.

One thing I did learn…there is a K-12 revolution.  I don’t know how far beneath the surface it is, because I don’t pay attention to that area as closely as I should, but it is there, and it was an unspoken undercurrent of the entire day, at least for me.  This revolution is about how we teach K-12, and it has nothing to do with test scores or standardization.  Well, I guess it does, but not in the way those in power think of it.

As higher ed folks, we need to help them facilitate that revolution because that will have a direct impact on the quality of the students we’ll end up seeing in our higher education classrooms. In fact, aside from the quality of student, I’d guess it will increase the quantity.  So the industry of “higher education” has a financial incentive, along with the moral one.

We need to start talking about this more.  And in order to start a coordinated conversation, and a way for us all to follow this, I’m going to start using the hashtag #k12revo

Spread the word.

Alan November

  • Don’t teach any one technology, teach critical thinking and problem solving.  Technology will change.
  • Are our students leaving a legacy?
  • Purpose is what motivate people…Dan Pink book called “Drive”
  • What does purposeful work look Ike?

Homa Tavangar

Lucy Gray

  • The Global Education Conference
  • Technology is not dehumanizing people, quite the contrary

John Ellrodt and Maria Fico

TED video – Kiran Bir Sethi

  • The ican bug…it’s contagious
  • From “teacher told me” to “I can do it”
  • When children are empowered, not only do they do lol, they do very well

Gary Stager

  • Tougher is not an effective learning theory
  • “the Sasquatch effect” heard of it but never seen it before.
  • Innovation = willingness to change everything
  • A good prompt is worth a thousand words
  • Every visitor to your classroom is a teacher
  • We need to create environments that are coercion free.
  • Less us, more them

Brian Crosby

  • Get away from teaching kids how to be taught and move to teaching kids how to be learners

Heidi Hayes Jacob

  • What year are you preparing your students for?
  • Put GEO in front of everything you teach
  • What does a quality —- look like?
  • I’d rather have students make a Facebook page for Julius Ceasar instead of an essay

Dennis Littky

  • If you’re not standing not the edge, you’re taking up too much space

Diana Laufenberg

  • The culture of the one right answer

Rinat Aruh

  • Design has a role in education

Luyen Chou

  • The learning revolution…it didn’t happen

Patrick Carman

  • The high five….TV, Games, iPhone/Pad/Touch, Computer, Cell

Steve Bergen

  • FIO (figure it out) and plan b (what to do if plan a does not work)
  • The Jesse test… Nothing could ever please Jesse Helms, Jesse Jackson, and Jesse Ventura

Stacey Murphy

Samona Tait

Will Richardson