Researchers from Griffith university have recently published some interesting conclusions about young people and internet usage.
The authors have found …wait for it….kids are often logging onto the net to do research for school projects and homework before logging onto social networking sites. (I am not sure we would have seen children in the 1970s eager to flick through Encyclopedia Britannica!)
In addition to supporting guidelines and advice for parents and teachers on keeping students safe in an online, the report’s co-author, Margee Hume also believes parents need to get more involved in their children’s online activities to ensure a balance between virtual/physical activities.
For me, greater parent participation on the internet represents greater transparency between schools, parents and the community. There are many schools who communicate with parents, share information about lessons and student progress and publish student work via blogs.
Most of the worries about the potential inappropriate uses of the internet come from a lack of understanding about the net or a fear of its potential reach. These fears can only be overcome by being proactive and, wait for it, learning about it yourself. The kids will be good at helping with this.
There is no greater tool for transparency than being able to watch and monitor learning and feedback in real-time. Who knows, blogs may replace the need to publish league tables!