Learning literacy well in the 21st century requires more than teaching Shakespeare. It requires educating students to think critically about social networks, too. Robert Barker has this Perspective.
For years I’ve watched as we public school educators have tried to engage students about their use of the Internet by focusing on cyber safety and the latest online ed-tech software or social network.
Students mostly roll their eyes. And for good reason.
Cyber safety is vital for students to protect their safety and privacy. But showing outdated, cautionary news reports about cyber bullying during school-wide assemblies or adopting shifting policies around cell phone use in the classroom often look like they were scripted for a Napoleon Dynamite sequel.
Embracing social networks in the classroom hasn’t fared much better: Adults are, by definition, "out of it"; by the time we're on Facebook, Tumblr is "fire"; by the time we're on SnapChat, the kids are on Yik Yak or some other new platform— popular because it’s outside the awkward, lurching searchlight of adults.