Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Technology: Fight It or Learn It?

Do you have a MySpace page?

Not for networking, but for keeping up with technology -- for staying connected to how students are communicating? (Or, just keeping tabs on your own child?)

That's the issue raised today at a meeting of statewide education association communication professionals. The group meets to discuss ongoing projects in our respective organizations, cross-market events and help each other solve communications and PR challenges. The subject of new media came up-- in particular the connection between bullying and the use of sites like Juicy Campus, where people can post anything about anyone anonymously. Use of the site has already caused a flare up in the Marysville School District, which has blocked access to Juicy Campus, though most posts occur outside of school hours via non-school resources.

For many educators, just keeping up with e-mail is a chore. But in order to better understand today's students, should professional development for administrators and teachers include regular updates on technology?

Should educators know about Twitter and MySpace and Juicy Campus in order to address issues that arise from these newfangled version of old school graffiti? Or, should more attention be placed on school culture, to prevent the bullying and harassment these tools seem to encourage?

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