Do We Guide Them Or Just Hope For The Best?

Students on the internet mean students will get off task sometimes. I live with two high school students. They belong to me. One of the hardest parenting responsibilities with teenagers deals with how much to let go and how much to hold on. Once your child gets that drivers license you realize how little control you have over their time and how it is spent. Once they walk out the door and get into that car – they drive off to 1. the place they told you they were going, 2. for the length of time they old you they would be there, and 3. for the purpose they told you they were going (and of course they go no where else). You also trust that all those driving lessons and talks about safety on the road will be taken to heart. I know my child would not get distracted tuning in the radio or finding the perfect song on his mp3 player while he was driving and I know he would not get frustrated with the slow driver in front of him and hotrod to get around them. Okay – you can stop laughing now. My point is you have to trust them because you have no other choice. They are moving away from you as a parent and making their own choices which hopefully will be ones they can live with in the long run. This prepares them for living their own lives. We as parents have already given them the skills they need (we hope) and now we just guide when they will let us and pray that we haven’t left out that one important thing that we should have taught but didn’t.

The same thing goes for our students and technology. If we don’t teach them – what choices will they make and who will then be responsible?

Vicki Davis puts in succinctly:

Zero tolerance for mistakes is limiting our growth

I also think that the legal system in America will hold back our schools from giving such liberty to students. We will bleed on the cutting edge, however, we’ve create a zero tolerance for allowing mistakes to happen. Kids should be informed up front of expectations and consequences. Their behavior should be monitored vigilantly. When they do not meet expectations, they should experience consequences. Thus, we create net citizens who realize that their actions on the Internet have consequences.

The Trapeze Artist Metaphor

If our students don’t understand that there are consequences to their blog postings, it would be like a trapeze artist who trained with nets until he was 18. Every time he fell, he landed in the soft net. When he turned 19 and went to a circus, no one told him that there was no net. So, he was unafraid of the consequences of falling. And when he fell, it did permanent damage. He knew how to use the tools but did not understand consequences of making mistakes.

Conclusion

We need to teach effectively. We also need to create good New Net Citizens.”

We have the gift of an opportunity to reach far into the future as well as making the present much more pleasant. The concept of blogging doesn’t work if it doesn’t happen in the context of a community. If I was the only one who ever read this (and sometimes I think I am) then there wouldn’t be much of a point to it. I could keep a journal on my computer using any wordprocessor and add to it whenever I take a notion. To me the point of blogging is to network with others, to have an ongoing learning learning experience by reading, writing, commenting, and receiving feedback. It means that we become inspired by reading others thoughts and as we process what we read, we filter it through our own experience and viewpoint and write the results of that process. If we leave no room for mistakes then we leave no room for learning.

One thought on “Do We Guide Them Or Just Hope For The Best?

  1. Vicki A Davis

    I am also going to add, that without good administration. What would be a little scrape would be a bloodletting. Without a zero tolerance policy AND enforcement, the teacher is just asking for trouble!

    Great post.

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