Friday, September 26, 2008

Taking back the Territory

I have a colleague, Laura Hunter that talks about the "creepy tree house" Her analogy is that the kids love their tree house and it is a great place where kids get to be kids, but when the adults come up it gets a little weird. I tend to agree with her. The "creepy tree house" effect should be avoided, but with that said, I wonder if we are abdicating our responsibilities by not invading 'kids' spaces a little.

I think we need to take back some of the territory. Many people I talk to say things like:
  • "No, I don't text"
  • YouTube is just a bunch of garbage
  • Kids are just so much better at this stuff
  • I wouldn't want to have "FaceBook" page
  • What if kids saw what I posted?
Well, seriously, these are all legitimate concerns, but what I wonder about a little is: "What if I don't do these things" How can I be a relevant teacher to students I don't understand. Yes, texting is hard. I still hate doing it on my wife's phone even with predictive text. My phone with the keyboard makes it a snap. FaceBook as an in the class teacher I admit freaked me out a bit, what do I do if a student wants to add me as a friend? Do I have to lead not a double, but a triple life. My home life, my online life and my online "teacher life." For example: As a classroom teacher if I wanted to post a list of my favorite movies and one is not school appropriate can I? What if a parent or my principal saw it.

But if I don't claim some space where the kids are then I am irrelevant. I wish that I had felt a little more comfortable doing that when I was a classroom teacher and I had understood better the perspective that the Administrators and IS Specialists. If I were back in the classroom I would want an online presence, but I would have to establish guidelines. What those guidelines would be I am still trying to formulate.

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