Friday, February 25, 2011

Highway 46: The High School Edition

I was very impressed by the information our elementary students presented when we gathered a group of them to talk about technology and, specifically, cyber bullying.  While anticipating something similar when we met with the high school group, I was not prepared for the total learning experience it turned out to be.

As we engaged in dialogue about the security systems in place to prevent students from accessing the internet, I quickly discovered that our attempts were all but futile.  From proxies to tunnels, students would find ways around anything we might put in place.  It became a bit of a game to them as to how quickly a student could get through.  They discovered the passwords and quickly shared that around.

Just as my head was ready to explode from all of these revelations, the real value of engaging student voices emerged.  They spoke about their values and recognition that some sites should be off limits and that they needed to manage these amongst their peers. Of significant importance to our trustees and management team was the suggestion of a committee of students who would work with adults in the school system to create guidelines for internet use.

This seems like a much better plan than the simple imposition of rules created by adults to manage kids that are largely ineffective.  Thanks to the students for your participation and creative contributions!

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