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"To allow fear to be in control of one's life, is to limit oneself and all around you. Connect with your children, with your learners. Understand them, understand their worlds and grow with them, not against them".




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Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Response to ABC - Do They Know What They Say!

Below maybe the ramblings of a mad women, but as usual, from my head alone at this time, and I have just posted to the ABC, discussion board. After listening to the show and reading the comments, I tend to agree with those in the younger demographic, were where the children or other users of social networking technologies. Being involved in e-learning and classed by some as expert in my field, I like all have a great deal to learn and at a much faster pace, not to do so, is to remain disconnected from society as it is today. I am seeing a great deal of scare mongering in the press, all I seem to read is 'danger' 'social networking tools are dangerous', 'don't let your kids near a computer without supervision and it gets worse. Is it public knowledge that the NSW education system has integrated software into their system that will stop users in their educational institutions from even viewing the myriad of tools, that are a part of daily life for the majority of our youth, used by business, industry in this country and many others? This is spreading throughout the states and territories, blocking all from their very existence. How can we do this? Are we not then hindering the learning of our youth of our future? Instead of blocking we need to inform, educate and show all how to use technology in a safe way. We need to develop a way, to get kids and parents engaged together in their cyberspace journey's, just as we once all sat down to watch television after dinner, maybe that now changes to sharing and learning together, so as not to fear, but enjoy and connect as parent and child - currently by trying to force our children to be a part of a world that we once new, we are allowing the gap between us to widen, when simply by accepting that the world has changed, that our children learn and connect with others in a different way and joining their journey, we can reduce the gap and enjoy new interactions with our children - let them lead the way and as you go on the adventure with them, work together to ensure that all are protected. Cyberspace can be dangerous yes, I have recently suffered from a cyber attack in what is regarded as an educational community for e-learning, funded by the government, so bullying and all the negatives you can conjur in a childs world, too exist in the professional. I could have simply walked away from anything to do with technology, however, as someone who has been victim to foul play on the net, as a single mum of two teenage boys, as someone who works to promote change in our educational institutions, in order that we all provide an environment and learning that suits the needs of our learners, I see it as my role, to ensure that the fear mongering reduces and we all move towards and understanding of and safe use of the technological marvels offered to us all. We teach our children to drive a car safely, we have solicitors and others read contracts for us to ensure our safety, we teach children how to cross the road safely, we provide anti bullying programs in schools, so why not use the same concept of introducing preventative measures, not blocking but informed and safe use - the car did not disappear nor will technology - it is time to accept, inform, educate, learn, drive your own cyberspace journey so that it harms no other and protect oneself from potential danger. To do anything else, is to cripple our youth and the future of our society.

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