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Barbara

Currently the 8t grade at our school is heavily involved in a a year long international collaboration with another 8th grade. We are using all kinds of tools including chat, voicethreads and blogs. In Sept. we started with a unit on cyber safety and each student wrote and spoke about the tpic. in fact the students made presentations to the parents and to every classroom K-8. They did a great job BUT...and here is the rub..it takes practice. The kids knew what the rules were and what to say but they did not translate the head knowledge into practice.
With there first few blog posts and their voicethreads we began seeing risky practice. They just had not taken the lessons to heart . This really made us see how important regular use of these tools were.....because we can use these moment to re-enforce the lesson. We had all of the students go online and read everyone's blog and rate them for safety. Then their homework was to fix their own blog. They just do not get it until they really use it in a setting where someone is helping them to evaluate along the way.
I for one feel strongly this is our responsibility. Yes, the parents are the primary educators and they need to understand and be aware but connectivity is the portal for learning and so we have to teach them how to enter that world- it is how they learn.
Thanks for this post! You got me thinking.

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