Since reading around on E-Technology and writing this blog i’ve realised that many of the concerns surround the children’s safety and the idea that the children may misuse the technology, yet David Gilmour in my first blog commented telling me about research he conducted:
‘In East Lothian schools YouTube has been available to all staff and students since November 2008, when we introduced it on a 6-month trial basis. There are 6 large secondaries and over 30 primaries, so it’s a large sample. Plan A was that we would review after 6 months, but by that time continuing with it was such a “no brainer” that surveying staff was rejected as it would have been a waste of their time. We did, however, ask those who wanted to let us know their thoughts by email, and received a wealth of positive stories in response. If it was to be blocked now we would have a revolution on our hands!
Part of our thinking was to improve teaching and learning opportunities. Another less high-profile aim was to improve knowledge of internet safety and responsible use not just by lecturing, but through active use of social media in our classes. It has been striking that misuse has never really been an issue over the entire time…’
So within 6 large secondary schools and over 30 primary schools they experienced no misuse (or no misuse that was picked up) and it seems to suggest that it worked well.. maybe allowing children on websites such as YouTube is a risk but a risk that needs to be taken?
By focusing on the risk, the worries and the ‘What if’s’ are we forgetting the real impact these E-Technologies could have on students learning? Maybe we should all relax a little bit and just allow the children to take these risks? Is it a healthy risk? With most phones having internet connections and most children having phones is there really much difference apart from if we allow them in schools, as educators we can guide children into how to use the internet as a powerful learning tool?
All thoughts are welcome 🙂