Bebo

Friday 16th June

Diary: Quality Improvement Team Update; Department briefing; Meeting with David Gilmour to plan further developments in Exc-el (P.S We have an Exc-el Board meeting this coming Tuesday at John Muir House 4.00 – if you'd like to be part of the discussions please accept this as an open invitation to attend – we should finish about 5.30pm); met with a teacher and their union rep; Sheila McKendrick to finalise questions for Acting HT interview; Ross High School Acting Headteacher Interviews.

I received an interesting e mail from a colleague and parent about some of the things I've been saying about technology and children's learning. In my recent conference presentation about
citizenship I referred to the fact that both my sons spend a lot of time of Bebo – I was making the point that this is voluntary, engaging, and enabled them to be part of a community – quite aside from the skills they were developing – schools need to tap into this engagement or their learning environment will become ever more distant from the reality which children experience in the outside world.

Here's the e-mail (I have been given permission from the writer to post it here) – comments welcome:

"Had a thought on the engaged/not engaged at school item. I think that it
can be the case that young people become disengaged because the web
world they inhabit- and some are there for many hours a day- is more
about their agenda than the education agenda? Does that make sense? If a
person can spend time designing/creating/talking to friends etc on a
page on the web maybe this 'zones them out' for the hard lesson that
learning isn't always about what they want? If we could gain a balance
between the technology and the teaching maybe we could reel these
youngsters in again? I often think that young people expect a lot
because that is what the rest of the world says they should have. The
culture of being successful and 'be all you can be because you can' is
misleading. What is success? Money? I often chat to my children about these web items and I think it is
about balance of time spent on it – we also live in an 'instant' world
nowadays. Do you know who your children text/talk to? I don't anymore!
Mobile phones take care of that. Visual stimuli are what they want to
have – they can become desensitised as well – life doesn't affect them
as it happens in isolation – in their rooms or alone somewhere. Parents
worry that they will log on to do some research and end up being
sidetracked into a chat place. I have always encouraged the thought that a bit of graft and a set of
good results will offer choice – the more choice we have as we leave the
world of school will allow us to 'be all we can be'. This isn't what it
should be but the wide world is a hard place and that is how we are
often judged. Choice is important. One path is not always best.
Adaptability is a good thing."

I won't offer my response at this time – but it's great to get such feedback about posts on my blog. It's just this kind of dialogue that helps to shape our practice and future policy.