Half an Hour: Adults and MySpace
I am regularly being asked "what shall do we do about MySpace?". Michael Downes writes an extensive reflection on emerging issues being raised by online forums such as MySpace. He raises many issues. , many of which are particularly relevant in relation to values education in our schools and our responsibility to help develop emotional intelligence and personal resilience in our students.
"The dirty little secret is that we as a society are all up in arms about MySpace not because it’s not safe but because it’s making visible the extent to which we are failing our kids."
He also touches on a completely different message of importance - information literacy in a digital environment.
"My own observation, though, is that people who spend more time online are more able to deal with these issues, that the people who accept things uncritically - especially when presented from an authoritative source - are those who are uneducated and those who are mostly offline.
In other words, what I am saying is that my own observation suggests that prolonged exposure to the internet makes someone more able to reason critically, not less. And in my more cynical days I suggest that it is this increased capacity to reason that is sparking concern among some adults."
These and other issues need to be discussed in depth, and an appropriate response developed by us and our schools if we are to meet our educational responsibilities in the new digital arena.