Sunday, 25 March 2012

The things educators say and do ...

and maybe should not.

In my last post, I said I would come back to write about my view of some "no-brainer" type comments that are frequently posted by educators on social networking services.

Maybe using the term "no-brainer" is not fair. Ok, I'll call the behaviour naive and too often dangerously uninformed.

I have only recently started collecting these comments. I have made slight changes to protect the innocent.

Person A wrote: 
I was disappointed that now is all about paying money!
My comment: These services on websites are businesses not charitable organisations. They exist to make money. They attract and capture an audience, their personal information and data and BOOM they start charging or are bought out by some bigger business that wants their talent or data etc.
Ditto for: piknik to google, skype to Microsoft and posterous to Twitter.

Person B wrote: 

I am looking for a free, online, effective, user friendly, collaborative writing/documents tool for students? What can you recommend?
My comment: What age? What PII is required? What do the Terms and Privacy statement say?

Just two so far.

So, teachers sign up for online services often with wild abandon. That's fine!  The problem arises when teachers tell students to register or simply use the latest nifty tool without having conducted a thorough risk assessment of the website content, features and functionality.

I say in the first instance for student use or access, teachers should stick to using tested and reviewed services and resources created by teacher colleagues or reputable organisations for educational use.

Educators cannot afford to play fast and loose with student safety online.

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