In my position as K-12 Media Specialist for our district, I sometimes conduct sessions for students regarding Internet safety. This past week, I shared a multimedia presentation from an incredible resource (http://www.netsmartz.org) with the entire 6th grade class. I started out by asking the students to cheer whenever they saw a form of media on the screen that they used on a regular basis. The presentation included tools like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and cell phones. I have a son in 6th grade who I know regularly uses these tools, but I wasn’t sure if that was the case for the majority of his classmates. Let me just say that there was basically continuous applause as the logos for these tools appeared on the screen. These kids are plugged in! Their lives are electronic, dynamic, and virtually always… virtual… already in the 6th grade!
If you’ve read my earlier blogs, you know that Shepherd High School is seriously looking at the educational uses of social media such as Facebook. In addition, we are studying cell phones in the classroom. I recently ordered the book Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education by Liz Kolb as a resource for this. Please share your experiences in helping students to get plugged in at your school! The resources available to students and teachers today is endless, so please help us to focus on the best tools and resources that you have found and put into practice.