Sunday, February 19, 2006

Preparing for the industrial age

I am sure that you have heard the following quotes. These are often used in presentations to make the point that many educators are not using technology to improve their instruction or the learning that takes place in their classroom.

“We need to educate our children for their future, not our past.”
A.C. Clark

It is easier to change the location of a cemetery than to change the curriculum.
Woodrow Wilson

Be concerned about the future
You’ll spend the rest of your life there!

Too many teachers teach the way they were taught.

We live in an technology age using an agricultural calendar and an education model from the industrial age.

David Warlick just added a new quote to this list of classics. This is a quote that I wish a lot of educational leaders and those who create laws like “No Child Left Behind” would take time to think about.

No generation in history has ever been so thoroughly prepared for the industrial age.

Thanks to Will Richardson for pointing out this quote in his blog. I had read David’s post, but got hung up in the numbers that he was throwing out and missed the quote at the end.

BTW – I have many more quotes dealing with technology and education on my personal web site. And you will find David’s quote there by tomorrow, at the top of the list!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Internet Safety for Kids

This was a question posted to a national technology listserv and my response to that listserv.

>Can anyone assist me in finding resources and/or presentors
>that deals with internet safety for kids?

Most of the schools in North Dakota use i-SAFE and we are very pleased with it. Our state has regional technology support staff through an organization called EduTech. They are trained in the i-SAFE curriculum and do staff development in schools across the state on request. (They do staff development on a lot of other technology topics also.)

On our January staff inservice day Alicia Eslinger, one of their regional technologists, did a 1 hour presentation to our entire staff on i-SAFE and it was very well received.

BTW – iSAFE is totally free, funded by federal grants and other contributions.

It isn’t just that we need to be concerned about, it is any web site that students tend to use. The predators, scam artists, etc. will follow. We need to teach students safe, appropriate use of the Internet rather than just block them from these sites.

We block and to keep kids from reading and posting during the school day, but you can’t stop them from posting when they are at home, and you can’t enforce school discipline on them for what they post at home.

You need to make the parents aware, as they often know far less about the Internet than their children and have know idea what they are putting online. But again, this has to be more general than just about and and …

If you do have instances of bullying, threats, rumors, etc. you can still bring the students in and talk to them, counsel them, call the parents, or get the local law enforcement involved.

Like any program, just like any textbook, I feel that you need to pick and choose. There are other very good resources out there that supplement/complement iSAFE.

Wired Safety

Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Playing it Safe
A webquest about Internet Safety for 6th Grade Computer Literacy

NetSmartz Workshop


FBI Publications – A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety

The Police Notebook – Kid Safety on the Internet

KidsCom – Tips for Internet Safety and good manners!

I keep links to many internet safety sites on my furl list – filter by topic on “Internet Safety”

And I made many of the resources from the NBC To Catch a Predator III site available to our staff under “Technology Department Documents” using our School Center web server. (Please don’t rag on me about copyright issues – I shouldn’t be sharing this site with you, it was just meant for our district teaching staff)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Concerns about student info on the web

Schools and parents around the country are becoming concerned about the information that students are posting on web sites such as The recent documentaries by NBC Dateline “To Catch a Predator III” and “Why parents must mind MySpace” have contributed to this concern .

Our district recently had a presentation about the iSafe program which included information about and the information that our students were putting online. Full names, age, grade, school, interests such as sports and activities, etc. Even photos. One example was a photo of a girl in her volleyball uniform with number and school prominently displayed. A lot of information for a predator to be able to use to make initial contact with the student.

This presentation raised the level of concern of our staff members, many of whom are parents of teens.

But what about other information that is being placed on the web about our students?

One of the articles recently highlighted in the“Around the Web” section was about a music teacher using podcasting in an elementary music class. Music teacher adds podcasting to curriculum is a very interesting article and it should attract a lot of readers interested in the use of podcasting in education.

What concerns me is that the online article includes a photograph of the teacher and two elementary students with full names and ages. Earlier in the article the elementary school is identified.

What about our school web sites that have photos of athletes in uniform with their name, grade and position. The school and city, often with phone numbers, are included on the home page of the site. Many schools honor the student of the month with a full “head and shoulders” photo along with the full name and grade.

Is the information that is being posted on really that dangerous? Are our newspapers and school sites just as bad as Or even worse, because the newspapers and schools are putting the information out about our students where the students themselves are responsible for what they put out on

There have been stories about the number of people who have been targeted by predators because of information that was found on What will happen when a student is abducted or molested because of information found on a school web site?