Saturday, June 29, 2013

Can we find the Middle Way for social media? Can we use "very private" settings on Facebook and YouTube? Perhaps we could have a learner's permit for use of Facebook and YouTube.

Here are my comments about two items in the news:

a)  A school that asks students to remove themselves from Facebook and other Social Media.
EDUCATIONAL VALUE:  LOW or MIXED (perhaps these students will be well prepared to go to teach and work as business people and aid workers in countries that lack wifi)

Let's learn from the administrators... what is their ultimate goal?  Perhaps we can use this procedure...

b)  Put a LIKE on a Wikipage and I'm one click away from being discovered by millions of people

Here is the Wikipedia page

Here's what I found when I clicked on 3,654 people like this topic

Wow, I can really expose my life to others... 

Here is the link that I came across when I clicked on "who else" had liked the page:

The key appears to be a middle ground:  set the personal settings at a level that feel right for you.

Pre-teens might hit LIKE and FOLLOW, but their parents can make sure that the preferences of their children are hidden and available only for PRIVATE or their friends.

Teenagers might experiment with a setting that is slightly more open, such as  "Friends of Friends."

Blogging is an important way to interact, too.   But it certainly seems much simpler and easier to put a halt to all activities on the Internet.  We don't allow kids to drive a car when they are 10 years old.   Perhaps we could have a learner's permit for use of Facebook and YouTube.

The Pre Frontal Cortex is not fully developed.  
As Daniel Amen points out, the PFC is the judge, the editor, the brakes on our impulses.

Maturation of the Prefrontal Cortex

The prefrontal cortex, the part of the frontal lobes lying just behind the forehead, is often referred to as the “CEO of the brain.” This brain region is responsible for cognitive analysis and abstract thought, and the moderation of “correct” behavior in social situations. The prefrontal cortex takes in information from all of the senses and orchestrates thoughts and actions to achieve specific goals.1,2
The prefrontal cortex is one of the last regions of the brain to reach maturation. This delay may help to explain why some adolescents act the way they do. The so-called “executive functions” of the human prefrontal cortex include:
  • Focusing attention
  • Organizing thoughts and problem solving
  • Foreseeing and weighing possible consequences of behavior
  • Considering the future and making predictions
  • Forming strategies and planning
  • Ability to balance short-term rewards with long term goals
  • Shifting/adjusting behavior when situations change
  • Impulse control and delaying gratification
  • Modulation of intense emotions
  • Inhibiting inappropriate behavior and initiating appropriate behavior
  • Simultaneously considering multiple streams of information when faced with complex and challenging information
This brain region gives an individual the capacity to exercise “good judgment” when presented with difficult life situations. Brain research indicating that brain development is not complete until near the age of 25, refers specifically to the development of the prefrontal cortex.3
The above statement comes from OPA! (well, it's the Office of Population Affairs in Washington, DC)   ...  It is helpful to teachers, parents and teenagers to know about the development of the brain.  Can we help teenagers gain understanding about why many teenagers take risks?

As a teacher, I'm clearly open -- because I want people to see what I think is valuable.
This is how a teacher interacts with parents, students and other teachers.

This is one way that privacy about our opinions can be retained.   

There are middle positions between ONLY ME and PUBLIC.   If the student is ONLY ME, then perhaps a CUSTOM setting can be set so that the teacher can review some of the interests of the student.

So we can see the value of keeping kids off the Internet.

I need people on the Internet to make BIB Penpals possible.

So let's look at the Middle Way:

a)  settings are private (custom to allow parents and "only me" and perhaps in some cases "friends")
b) students can still have "net impact."


About the Learner's Permit for social media...
I intended "learner's permit" to mean a limited freedom to use the tool, such as "driving in daylight hours but only with a licensed passenger"...

This presentation

One of the reasons why teachers might use facebook and twitter is to let students know what THEY are reading.  ... such as the Washington Post.

Here's a comment by Social Media expert and consultant, Bob Finch

I'm not for "banning." The reasonable solution is to begin early in teaching children - as a part of what is 'safe' and 'not safe' - that social media is part of the 'how to handle strangers' rules. I'm sending Katie on a trip to Indiana to stay for week with my nephew. She's 10. The Delta agent I spoke with (for more than an hour) went into great detail about what Katie should wear, how she should handle strangers, what she should and should not talk about (regarding herself) and a host of other 'tips.' 

What we are really transmitting when we explain what 'improper touching' and other potential child abuses is a definition of 'personal space' and how it should be guarded from potential untrustworthy others. With social media being a broadcast medium, we need to instill in children (very early!) notions of personal 'thought space' or 'mind space' and how it should be guarded with equal prudence and diligence. 
Learn more at his Twitter account  @refinch

No comments:

Post a Comment