This is a great follow-up to my blog entry yesterday about Forbidden Fruit - Social Media in K-12 Education. It is so because in schools where social media is forbidden fruit, there is little hope of connectivity so essential to success. In those school systems, connectivity is "of the Devil," part of an evil conspiracy of lies designed to tear down morals, values, and expose young minds to immorality and "liberal" thinking.
- [I've seen...] three cracks widen in the foundation of American schooling.
- Digital divide keeps teachers from understanding use of social technology in schools
- The "access divide" is marked by the blocking of access to the very heart of what resources are available on the Internet, including YouTube, blogs, new media and anywhere a student might actually read a comment.
- The trickiest of the cracks to get our heads around is the "connected divide," separating those who are proficient in collaborative, creative and connected social networks and those who are not. It is growing exponentially wider on a daily basis.
- A gap will emerge between those schools that can offer the capacity for network building — represented by their own network of connected teachers and administrators — and those that will not make the connection.
- For our students, the value of social media will prove not to be how many followers one has but with how many leaders one engages.
- For most children, the key to success will continue to be sharp critical skills, strong connections, effective communication and the nerve to be creative and entrepreneurial. The difference is that we are living at a time in which all of those skills are defined by one's proficiency in connected media.
- Furthermore, for students facing poverty, violence and disability, online learning networks can provide empowering educational experiences that transcend the circumstances of the classroom.
- Ultimately, the school that ignores the connection will be the school that we will identify as a failing institution.
Shelly Blake-Plock is blogger-in-chief at TeachPaperless.com; he leads courses in 21st century teaching at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. He and Michelle Rhee were keynote speakers this week at Lenovo ThinkTank 2011, bringing together visionaries from K-12 and higher education. His email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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