Internet Safety

Social Networking in Schools? Yes or No

10 Comments 16 August 2010

You can’t learn to ride a bike without training wheels. Does the same relate to Social Networking? Is it true that a child cannot be a safe and efficient Social Networker without actually using one? And who is it up to to teach the children about safe Social Networking? The parents, or the school?

large ftm public 300x203 Social Networking in Schools? Yes or NoIn a recent report by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, they found that, “Although they weren’t asked this question, we suspect that most of the 91% of administrators who told the NCSA researchers that they block social network sites, are doing so because they believe it is in the best interest of their students, but there is a growing consensus among Internet-safety experts that blocking social media might actually have a negative effect on student safety.”

Nancy Willard of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use was quoted saying, “There are some significant barriers in school to get to where we need to be because, in order to teach Internet safety in school, we have to teach it in context, and if we have these major barriers of getting Web 2.0 technologies into schools, then we’re not going to be able to teach these skills in the context of learning.”

What do you think? Should children be taught how to use websites like MySpace and Facebook safely in schools, or do Social Networking sites have no place in the school system?

social networking 300x224 Social Networking in Schools? Yes or NoI do believe that you cannot become a safe and responsible Social Networker without actually getting into Social Networking. You learn the ins and outs and what to share and what not to. Do you want to give the city you live in, or your full name? Even your full date of birth? Probably not, unless you’re doing business online, which a child shouldn’t be doing anyway.

I don’t, however, believe that it should be left up to the schools to teach our children how to Social Network. I think it’s completely the responsibility of the parents. Social Networking was blocked when I was in high school, and I’d certainly hope they would continue with that today.

I send my child to school to learn about History and Science and Math and English. You know, the ‘things we need to know that we’ll never use again’. If my child is taking some sort of computer class, I would hope that it would be about learning to use the computer properly, how to maintain it or build it. How to use certain programs, like Microsoft Office and Photoshop, etc.

The thought of a Facebook 101 class in school is absolutely ridiculous.

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Your Comments

10 Comments so far

  1. Stacy says:

    The only reason for a student to be learning social networking is if they are studying in college for a marketing degree. Social networking has no use in elementary schools, middle school, or high schools. I could see this only useful in college, other than that it should be blocked from all campus computers.

  2. JinAtSmilely says:

    Hmm, I think a Facebook 101 class is food for thought. Some other classes like Sex Ed and Home Ec are taught in schools too, while they arguably could be taught by parents. Learning how to manage one’s privacy is also a very essential skill, and it might come up in a classroom some day.

  3. Exposing children to the dangers of social media online and learning how to manage privacy might be a good idea. It is inevitable that they will get involved in social media if they haven’t already, but knowing how to use it safely is important.

  4. Dawn Baird says:

    I’d argue the case stongly against you, that the things we learned that we’ll never use again should be replaced with practical science or applied maths, and room should always be there for life skills, including how to use the internet safely. That does not mean that other subjects need to suffer, not that they should spend hours on social networking sites in school.

    Your approach, while I’m guessing it may be based on an unpleasant online experience (which I understand), is blinkered. It’s like teaching a child that roads are dangerous, without ever showing them how to cross one safely.

  5. Jill says:

    There is a lot to teach kids about social media. It would be great if every parent would take the time to teach their kids about being kind on the web, and about being private and how to figure out what’s true and who’s real and how to build virtual relationships and create a virtual version of yourself….
    But there are quite a lot of parents who have no idea themselves. And many who don’t realize it’s important.
    Because of that, I think every major force in our kid’s lives should help kids get the knowledge they need: parents, schools and also, kids’ media.
    It takes a village… or as we say in the social networks, a community.
    It’s important that our kids get some training in this. Not only because of the dangers lurking out there on the web, but also because we want our children to be masters of these extraordinary and powerful tools.

  6. angie says:

    so people can tell u stuff like
    EX. “your house was on fire”
    “sorry but your mom is died

  7. Web Safety says:

    NO! That would be awful for kids. They shouldn’t even be on facebook to begin with, I wish it was 18+ like it used to be.


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