I think that social networks are here to stay. I don’t think they will always look the same, and I think there will be new features on them that will continue to amaze people. I recently discovered Twitter, and the video on the presentation that the 60 year old retired educator created really spoke to me, because these social networking sites can truly be used as time saving devices. What a great way to go beyond the 4 walls of a classroom and help colleagues as well as receive some help and ideas when needed.
I’m really interested in using tools online to help my students make connections and learn things that can help my students think or learn in a different way. The enrichment that can come from letting other experts in to teach my students is a unique opportunity. For me, I think when you teach students how to be aware, responsible and safe on the internet it can be a very valuable tool within a classroom.
As far as putting filters on the internet… I think that when students are first learning how to search it would be nice to have that customized search engine that Alec showed us in class last week, but as they get older I think it can be helpful to teach them the skills to discriminate things that are not educational or trustworthy sources. I’m not saying that we should allow pornography on school computers, but if we sensor everything I think we can start to loose some of the things that make the online learning environment a unique and valuable place.