Being connected without being connected

SPARK LONDON AT THE HACKNEY ATTICI have finally – finally! – realised what all the Facebook status updates I find so tedious have in common. That is, apart from the fact that they ostensibly have nothing in common, and that I find them tedious. I talked about the things I find irritating in How much should we share online?, so there's no need to rehearse it all over again.
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Why you don’t have to miss the ICT in Education articles even if you’re too busy to read them

podcast listenIf you’re too busy to read the articles on the ICT in Education website, you can listen to them instead.

Thanks to a neat little widget from Odiogo, each article has a “Listen Now” button at the top of it. Click that, and you will be able to listen to the article read out to you. Warning: there’s a bit of  delay between my posting an article and the Listen Now button working, so if you try it straight away and it doesn’t work, try again a few minutes later.

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A Teenager's View of Social Networking and Digital Citizenship

MillerElaine 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:

Facebook and suicide prevention

Facebook and bankruptcy prevention

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.

I actually do not like Jonas brothers chat rooms, etc. That is a place for a lot of predators -- Woogi world is better than Club Penguin. But Miller and I differ on our opinion on that one.

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:|pe1|S8LTM0LdsaSkYFexYGE


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.

How good is the teaching of ICT? An interview with Edith, an English teenager

EdithWe're always interested in hearing the views of young people, so it was with great pleasure that Elaine and I interviewed Edith. Edith is a teenager living in England, and has some definite views about the teaching of information and communications studies (ICT).

I saw her, not for the first time, at a recent Teachmeet and was struck by her statement that she, and her peers, were being 'under-taught'. This ties in with what I reported in a recent newsletter:

"It's been found recently , by Ofsted, that teachers tend to teach ICT up to the limit of their own knowledge, and that this effectively holds children back."


In this interview we explore this and other issues. The podcast lasts just over 19 minutes.


The music after the introduction and at the end is Simple Soulman by The Groovebusters, and is under a Creative Commons licence. Hear the band at:|pe1|S8LTM0LdsaSkYFexYGE

Edith is 14 and attends school in England. She has spoken at Teachmeet events, such as the North London Teachmeet in 2009.

To respond to Edith, please submit a comment in the comments area below, or send me an email.

If you enjoyed listening to Edith's views you may also like our interview with Miller, an American teenager. That will be posted here on the 11th December 2009.

And you will probably enjoy the following: What are your kids learning while you're not looking?

That was the title of a presentation that Miles Berry and I did at the BETT Show 2009. Based on original research, it made it very clear that teachers make life more difficult for themselves, and less than interesting for their students, by ignoring what their students can already do.

For more information, including a link to Miles' blog on the subject and a slide show, see my article on What are your kids learning while you're not looking?  There is also a more up-to-date article I wrote for the IFIP newsletter, which is based in India.