Elaine and I had the pleasure of chatting to Miller, a 15 year-old girl living in the USA. It is so refreshing to listen to someone who is so level-headed when it comes to issues such as cyber-bullying. It is also interesting to hear how blogging and other web 2.0 applications helped Miller to find her writer's voice within, and to deal with some difficult situations.
There is a lot in this: how her class handled a setback created inadvertently by Google, how their teacher laid down the rules and gave tuition on internet safety right up front, how their other teachers are learning from Miller and her classmates, and a lot more.
The stories I mentioned in which Facebook was involved are here:
Her teacher, Vicki Davis, made the following comments on the recording:
Actually, the middle schoolers aren't using Jott; they are using cell phones in English. They are using Jott to proofread papers. We just use it for 9th grade (Year 9) but they just started charging so we had to discontinue it. That was pretty recent so Miller may not know it. I actually just canceled my Jott account but they were using it like crazy in the fall. Miller doesn't use the features requiring premium Jott.
On the issue of over-familiarity between students and their teachers, Vicki said it wasn't an issue in her school because it's a small community in which many people know each other anyway.
Miller mentioned PowerSchool. Their website is here.
The recording lasts just over 25 minutes.
Miller has also written a fantastic article for the Computers in Classrooms newsletter.
Thanks to Vicki Davis for her help and support in setting up this interview, and to Miller for her time.
The music after the introduction and at the end is Simple Soulman by The Groovebusters. The music is under a Creative Commons licence. Hear the band at:
Miller's views do not represent the views of her school, her teacher, nor any other organization which she belongs to, but are solely her own views and opinions.
If you enjoyed listening to this, you may also enjoy hearing our interview with Edith, and English teenager.