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Posts Tagged ‘underaged

Ask instructional designers what a SME is and they will tell you it stands for Subject Matter Expert.

Today there is another SME, social media educators, that we need more desperately than content experts.

I came to this simple conclusion after yesterday’s #edsg chat on Twitter. While anyone is free to contribute to #edsg [live tweets], we have focused chats every Tuesday, 8-9pm, Singapore time [example: archived chat on unprofessional development].

Based on the profiles of the participants, we have a nice mix of teachers, teacher-parents, parents, and a few non-Singaporean educators, I do not know how many lurkers there are.

Yesterday we discussed how we might manage underaged access to social media. Why? The legal age for a Facebook account is 13, but Primary School teachers on #edsg, mainstream Twitter, their blogs, or Facebook have shared anecdotally that many of their underaged students have FB accounts.

The parents or parent-teachers in #edsg seemed to agree with the age limit and preferred that kids developed face-to-face social skills first. My argument with that is 1) socialization is socialization (no matter what the medium), 2) it should start as soon as you start teaching and modelling values, and 3) we need to prepare kids for today and tomorrow, not yesterday.

As a parent myself, I have discussed with my soon to be 8-year-old if he would like to be on Facebook. He has decided that he does not need it now. I did not make that decision for him.

However, he is on several online gaming social networks designed for kids. Networks like Woogi World offer parent accounts for monitoring. It is wonderful to see him make connections so quickly and to see him apply what he has learnt about cyberwellness from an online programme initiated by his school (credit to @tucksoon for this!).

I suggested at #edsg that there should be a social media education programme for parents and policymakers. I even went so far as to say these could be parent service components and parent engagement courses.

@emmalinesports had a great suggestion:

But she also cautioned that reality bites:

But this should not stop any educator who has his or her radar up. If you know a tsunami is coming, you take preparatory steps. You do not just twiddle your thumbs, pretend it is not coming, or barricade yourself.


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