I remember reading about this incident as well and my initial thought was “where were the parents?” I think social networking and digital knowledge needs to be taught to students, but I think it also needs to come from parents. Maybe this girl’s parents were teaching her that stuff, but I think oftentimes children are not taught this knowledge at home. There are only so many hours in a school day and unfortunately a lot of that time has to go towards reading and math due to high-stakes standardized testing. At our school we do have technology classes for the students but only twice a week. Common Sense Media (http://www.commonsensemedia.org/) has a variety of curricula for teaching students how to be responsible digital citizens, but it is hard curricula to incorporate into math or reading class. I agree the curriculum is out there and it needs to take priority, but with technology classes being given limited time at school, we need to figure out how to educate parents so that they can be teaching children at home.
In response to Jeff Utecht http://www.thethinkingstick.com/:
The girl, 17, had been helping her grandmother count the 72-year-old woman’s personal savings. Apparently wishing to impress her friends and the world at large, the teen snapped a picture of the cash and uploaded it to Facebook.Within hours, masked robbers showed up at the girl’s own house with a knife and a club, breaking in and stealing cash and personal possessions from the teen’s 47-year-old mother.
I read this the other day and was wondering if this girl ever was taught about social networking and where her information goes.I then starting thinking about the autonomy I had as say a 13 year old. My parents knew where I was 99% of the time, knew who I was hanging out with, who I was talking with and where I was physically...seeing there was no digital place for me to be yet.
I think about the autonomy a 13 year old has today. The autonomy to post, talk, respond, take a photo with anyone they want without parents knowing about it...and being able to share with people that their parents might not know.
These are new behaviors we need to be teaching in schools. We teach how to share, in the physical world. We teach how to cooperate, in the physical world. We teach how to stay away from danger in the physical world. But do we teach these same skills in the new digital sense? Why not?
If we know we are all spending more time online, in online relationships and communicating more online than in person these days, why are we not teaching these social-networking skills?
We talk about making friends, in the physical world. We talk about what it means to be a good friends, how good friends trust each other and how good friends watch out for each other....in the physical world.
Are we teaching social-networking in the digital world as well? If not are we doing our students, our community, our society a disservice?