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It appears that many New York City schools are demanding that kids not access social networking sites such as Webkins and Club Penguin (recently bought by Disney). I guess they’re afraid of predators or the kids wasting their time blah-blahing to friends. I’m not sure. Check out the FT story.
What the schools should be afraid of, instead, is wasting an opportunity to use a medium that encourages kids to create their own content—if they are given the right educational material to do so. Social networking just might be the most powerful tool in education, if enough teaching professionals get involved and develop materials for it.
The heated debate over OLPC is, in part, over the role of social media in teaching little children. It appears that this debate is happening in the US as well.
Again and again, we see innovations in society that are not adapted by our social and political institutions. Imagine, we still do not elect our President through direct elections. We elect people who then decide for us. This is happening in an era of social networking. It’s absurb.
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