What do we do…..?

I’ve just been over at Will Richardson’s blog – reading his post: What do we do about that? – which is essentially challenging educators or perhaps questioning why we aren’t paying more attention to how students are using technology and working with them (not against them) – including guiding them on some of the issues of cheating, copyright, and how to use other peoples’ ideas to shape and inform their own!

" Instead, why aren’t we asking them to first show us they can find the answers on their own, and, second, show us that they understand what those answers mean in terms of their own experience an in the context of what we are trying to teach?"

"…in terms of plagiarism and cheating and ethical use… I have arrived at the point where it’s just so clear to me that it’s not the kids that need to change. It’s us. We have to redefine what those things mean, because the old definitions just are not reasonable any longer. And please hear me when I say that I’m not advocating that we accept cheating or copying as the way of the world and not work to prevent it. But I am saying that we need to drastically shift our approach to dealing with it. Blocking blogs or Websites or Google is not the answer. "

Yeah – Will – at least I’m not the only one out there banging on about this!

But then…..I came crashing back to earth….in the Sydney Morning Herald today is an article: "School orders students to remove blogs"!
Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta (USA) has ordered its students to remove their blogs from the internet citing a threat from cyberpredators! The official spin is cited as:

"… a matter of safety, not censorship….students weren’t being silenced but rather told that they cannot post online writings about school or their personal lives."

The article goes on to quote Kurt Opsahl of Electronic Frontier Foundation – which is supposed to champion the rights of bloggers – Kurt says:

"…it would be better if they taught students what they should and shouldn’t do online rather than take away the primary communication tool of their generation."

Exactly!!!! Looks like a few more of us need to take up this challenge….are you ready for this?