Is it a horrid twisted fairy-tale or a valiant attempt to save society … [resisting 50 B movie sci-fi puns]
The parent had been called to school about an ‘incident’ using Facebook. The child, a boy aged 16, had filled out his profile with his photo and named his school. The daily FB activity banter between friends was more or less typical of teenage dialogue online. Nothing insane or brain-missing to anyone who knows a teen on Facebook. More importantly – the conversation’s we not the instigator of the issue per-say.
The issue was his face was linked with the school’s name in a profile and the principal had got word of it. The child was instructed to remove it, and they did.
However, the reference still existed though search — or at least at the moment the technocrat at school searched for it in — Google.
The parent was summoned to school to explain the continued defiance. Two people in a room, neither understanding the medium and making decisions for the child based on scant knowledge.
The decision was — after lecturing the parent that ‘Universities and Employers will search for the child on FB, and he’ll find it hard to get a place/job” blah (the reason the staffer asked me about it) — the child would no longer be allowed to use FaceBook or face expulsion from year 11. In order to return to school, that had to be put in writing.
A parents and teachers, we assume some understanding and rational behavior will be brought about by the policy — and will be correctly and fairly interpreted in the best interests of all the participants.
In the case of the school boy, it sounds to almost fictional. But it’s not … there are plenty of threads about the topic in various open networks.
I struggle with the notion that we will easily give up on the routines and designs of learning embedded in centuries of practice. Much of it is there to explicitly determine social capital anyone of us will have or can have. Now we see spaces where we throw these conventions aside and get unstuck.
We are no more able to transition to a better system because of social media than birds can take on the habits of fish.
The ideal intersection is not a Cormorant, though they do fish well — but not on land. On further enquiry – our hero is making decisions and operational policy for over 250 stage 5 students and responsible for taking 200 HSC students to the next part of their lives.
Right here, right now is the spikey end of learning. Will Richardson says – “unless we are teaching them, we are not allowed to be shocked” He illustrates this with images of party-girls in MySpace. More recently he talks about Facebook being a taboo in schools.
In this tale – it is two words in a profile.
As parents and professionals do we accept this lack of understanding? Do we feel it can be mitigated by their previous experience or historical qualifications?