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Irish children should be taught about blogging and social networking

Irish children should be taught about blogging and social networking

James Greenslade, Director of Information, Communication and Technology at Tipperary Institute, has said that Ireland needs to prepare second-level students (11-16s) for the changing face of the Internet, and its impact on communication.

“We teach children how to cross the road, provide sex education classes but the reaction to web based social networks has been to attempt to block them. If you look into any internet cafe across the country, at 4.05pm you’ll see teenagers participating unsupervised and uninformed in web based social networking,” he said.

He suggested that a compulsory part of the curriculum should focus on social networking sites and blogging, not merely explaining and demonstrating what it is, but building up responsible use of the new technology.

“The reality is that social networks are going to be a common as mobile phone ownership. Make no mistake about it, in social and business terms, this is going to be a pivotal means of communicating and we have to get our students up to speed with this. Business is already adapting to this, with plenty of anecdotal evidence that virtual sites are already proving to be a huge and successful networking opportunity for them,” he continued.

He is due to speak at the Internet in Education Conference on July 7th in Thurles Campus.

Let’s face it, teenagers are going to use this technology whether it’s on the curriculum or not, and a lot of them will understand it far better than their teachers will.

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I just hope that things move quickly and don’t get caught up in red tape.

(Via Irish Dev)

View Comments (5)
  • Of course, all that presumes that the ones in charge know of and are familiar with social networking, and are in a position to educate and teach it ;)

  • I’m not opposed to kids learning how to leverage new technology, but I am concerned that this will push out other, more vital portions of their academic curriculum. There’s only so much time in a day, after all.

    Already we’ve allowed computer-skills training to edge out other skills previously considered to be vital, such as handwriting.

    Sure, as one technology becomes common, other technologies lose their place in society. So keyboards have largely relegated paper & pen to the dustbin. But what if tablet PCs and other pen-driven devices actually bring about a renewed demand for handwriting and we’ve neglected to prepare the next generation to adequately cope in that environment? Basic written communication skills are still as important now in spite of all of our technological advances.

    I’m a bit worried by the ever-increasing emphasis on making computer-use skills such a priority for kids. Seems to me that kids need time to just be kids – to learn how to interact with the real (not cyber) world around them and develop social skills.

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