18 August 2008

Over the Hump

What does this mean? It means that when you tell people you write, read or listen to blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networks and online video - if they give you a funny look, it is now officially them that's a freak, not you.

Too bad the new admin at my old school isn't likely to read this article on how the Fastest Growing US Companies Are Rapidly Adopting Social Media, as it is he who refers to social networkers as freaky.

A one year follow up on a study of social media adoption at 500 of the fastest growing companies in the US has found that familiarity with and use of blogs, podcasting, wikis, online video and social networking has skyrocketed in 2008 to nearly double what it was in 2007. 77% of respondents now report at least some use of a social media tool in their business.

What does this mean for schools?

It means that internet filters have got to be lifted. While they will never be completely removed, school administration has got to get out of bed with their tech nazis and on the side of preparing students. As Scott McLeod points out in his post (shown in entirety below), From the Head of Zeus:
Most schools currently expect students to somehow (maybe magically?) be responsible, successful digital citizens upon graduation from high school - able to navigate all of the intricacies of a digital, global world - despite having little to no opportunity to learn or meaningfully practice what that means during their 12+ years of schooling. Continuing my analogy from my previous post, we have to stop pretending that students are like Athena, able to burst forth fully-formed from the head of Zeus (or the cocoon of schools), ready to successfully function in a complex adult world without prior practice or experience.
I saw a lot of angst last year in the edusphere. Lots of posts expressing frustration with outdated and narrow internet policies and closed-minded IT departments and colleagues. Now that we as a society may be over the hump in terms of how we view social media (Huzzah!), perhaps we can use this momentum to bring others into the light.


Scott McLeod said...

Thanks so much for steering me to this ReadWriteWeb article. I'm going to use it tomorrow when I work with the complete staffs for three Iowa school districts. Perfect timing!

The Science Goddess said...

I thought your posts were perfect timing. :) Best wishes for your presentation!