Herald on Sunday : Cyberbullying Originally uploaded by cx1uk

I just noticed Neil‘s photo on flickr.

Article from The Herald on Sunday about cyberbullying. Includes recommendation that teachers should join Facebook.

I’ve had a facebook account for a wee while now and am pretty ambivalent about it. I am not really very keen on the closed nature of the network. Most of the web 2 stuff I’ve found useful (rss, blogs, flickr and I dare say twitter) are open(ish) networks, anyone can see what you have to say.

Someone, maybe Ewan, explained that facebook could be a place to get away from the openness and post more personal things that they would not like all to see, but now teachers are being asked to be ‘friends’ with pupils on social networks which would remove this personal aspect.
Personally I’d not post anything onto facebook or anywhere else that I want to keep secret.

I know facebook groups can be useful, teachmeetperth on Facebook, but in my opinion a wiki is better.

Neil has a great post Are You Going Far Enough? Or Too Far? on this area and I agree that in the case of your own children you need to discuss and reach agreement about access to their social space. Fortunately (for me) my daughter is too old for this to become a problem, I’m her friend on facebook but not on Bebo and for a 17 year old living away from home that is fine.
For pupils this is a different matter, I can’t imagine that many would be happy with teachers befriending them on their space and I don’t think I want to sneak in by faking my age or claiming to be a pupil.

Better in my opinion to:

  • try to teach sensible behaviour and safety with open tools (blogs anyone)
  • model good behaviour and give the children a chance to practise this
  • discuss social software, relating that to real life (cyberbullying = bullying) with the same principals (tell someone)
  • take online behaviour as seriously are offline

and hope/expect that understanding and behaviour transfer to other online areas.

On the topic of facebook I did get an interesting invite the other day:

Facebookinvite

I just wonder how to accept it;-)

I’ve been reading a pile of stuff about twitter over the last few months. Quite a few edubloggers around the globe have taken up tweeting in a big way. I originally thought that it would be more use to conference goers than class teachers and didn’t pay much attention.
Yesterday I saw that a facebook friend was wondering how to update his status on facebook and on twitter at the same time.
This remined me that both twitter and facebook have APIs. A bit of googling took me to ”More status updating goodness‘ where Sören provides an applescript for quicksilver to update several status messages at once, including twitter and facebook. I took the script and simplified it a bit, got rid of the quicksilver stuff other services and I am afraid removed the keychain scripting for the faster hard coded username and password.

So I am thinking of what good scripting these services would do. I guess you could combine the script to tell other twitters what you are playing in itunes, what you are reading in safari, or some other information grabbed by AppleScript either locally or via a webservice. You could run thse in an idle loop so that someone could twitter the current webpage they are reading, application they are using etc. Would this be useful? Eventually a scriptable phone could twitter its geolocation…

teachmeet07

Now I am on twitter I’d appreciate some contacts, my username is johnjohnston.
It is not all that likely I’ll be doing much tweeting for now. I do look forward to seeing it it is a useful tool at the Scottish learning festival and TeachMeet07.

Speaking of which the planning for TeachMeet07 is well under way. Check the wiki or follow everything Tagged: Teachmeet07. It looks like being a great event.