Friday, November 21, 2008

NY Times article and MacArthur Study

I wrote this as a comment to Will Richardson's post referring to the MacArthur Study and felt it could stand alone as its own post:

I found the MacArthur study and the New York Times article that referenced it to be very interesting. I put hard copies of both articles in my faculty room and they provided quite a bit of fodder for discussion. I do agree that the NY Times article didn’t go far enough and painted cyberspace as this Utopian place where everyone gets along and sings “Kumbayah.” We know based on the MySpace tragedy that cyberspace can be a dangerous place.

A lot of the teachers that I talked to still have the “creepy treehouse” mentality or someone they know has committed some type of online faux pas. When I entered Cyberspace for the first time in 1997 I’m sure I did too but I learned. I explained that students need to learn appropriate digital citizenship. I explained that they are part of the ISTE standards (hoping that they would ask what they were but that didn’t happen).

Technology is here to stay and is becoming a larger and larger part of our everyday lives. We need to stop treating it like contraband. We as Librarians and educators need to not bury our heads in the sand and teach kids how to act responsibly in Cyberspace. We also need to start Digital Citizenship education as young as possible.

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