Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Have A Breakfast Meeting

...so I don't have time to write much! I have to be at a cafe near school in a few hours for an end-of-the-year gathering with my new coworkers.

Yesterday we had a lunch meeting with a consultant who talked about ways to bring technology to students. He said he's worked with a school that creates a public blog for every third-grader, using Blogger and their real names, where they immediately start posting articles, pictures and videos. The kids then blog throughout their school career -- and continue the blogs, if they like, when they graduate. We asked about the dangers of allowing such young kids an Internet presence, but he downplayed any risk. He said the kids are instructed on how not to post compromising information, and in any case, studies have shown online predators are virtually nonexistent.

I kept imagining how some members of my family would react to news that their children would be online with a blog at that age. I don't think it would go well. But this guy argued that in the end it's beneficial for the child to have a positive Internet presence -- when applying to colleges, for example. Colleges, he argued, are more likely to choose kids whose creativity they can gauge than those with no online presence at all.

I think third grade is a little young, but that's just me.

He also talked about social networking, and mentioned about a dozen networking sites that I've never even heard of. (I can't remember their names now! The Internet -- so much change, so quickly.) And he emphasized the importance of Twitter. That, he said, "is where the community is now."

Hmmm. I do not tweet. I am not a tweeter. I really don't want to start, either. Maybe I'll just leave that for the next generation. I'm sure I could bring more readers to my blog if I tweeted my entries -- but do I want hundreds or even thousands of people coming here? That might really change the tone of my blog and my blogging community.

(Photo: Portobello Road, yesterday. I've been trying to shoot that bedraggled mural for ages, but there's always a truck parked in front of it. Yesterday the truck had to move for the roadwork, and I had my chance!)


Gary said...

Last semester, in dissertation seminar, it was a requirement to join Twitter because one class was to be held through a Twitter chat. I had no interest in that and evidently the rest of the class felt the same way because that class never happened. I don't tweet but the case was made that it is an important tool for networking, etc. I never thought of Twitter in a professional capacity. One of these days I might check it out.

As for kids blogging. Hmmm...it IS good to have an Internet presence but I think they could do it without face pictures and identifying information in third grade. When they get older and if they continue their blogs then they can begin to add more personal information if they choose. Colleges aren't going to go back years and years to read each post.

Hope you are enjoying breakfast.

ain't for city gals said...

People live so much in the virtual world they forget what it is to actually live life. I personally would rather see the kids keep a journal but that is so old school now, I guess..

e said...

I could see keeping a class blog and having everyone contribute, but do the teachers really have time to check each blog and make sure these kids aren't posting stuff they should not? I would also avoid face pictures addresses, etc, which I've seen some adult bloggers use.

Ms. Moon said...

Good Lord! Just what the world needs- third grade bloggers. Or, maybe it does. I don't know.
Yeah, all of a sudden it's all about Tumbler. What the hell is Tumbler? I totally skipped Twitter. It's all just too damn much.

The Bug said...

I never have done twitter - mostly because I can't access it at work (& I don't have a smart phone). Ha!

What's hilarious to me about this 3rd grade blogging is that these kids must be WAY more developed than I was then. Shoot - I recently read some of my 7th grade diary entries & that was SO BORING! Of course I wasn't trying to entertain anyone, but the stuff I cared about & thought worth writing down? Yeesh.

Elizabeth said...

It's hard not to feel somewhat panicked at how quickly technology is leaving some of us behind -- and I'm one who can hardly keep up. I tend to dissociate from it -- just shut down. That's how I feel about the hundreds of CDs lining a cabinet in my house and the fact that I don't have an iPod and haven't ever uploaded or downloaded music and oh, I've missed the boat.

rockygrace said...

"...online predators are virtually nonexistent." WHAT? What world is that dude living in?

Lynne said...

Third graders having a blog of their own is more than a little scary to me. No online predators? Does this guy live in the same world as we do?

I guess I am glad I am getting old and all this Twitter, Tweet, etc. stuff is leaving me behind. I don't even do FaceBook.

I agree that you don't really want more traffic to your blog in that way. It really would change the tone of your blog. I know I tried joining some photo blog hops to try and get a few more people (and add a few more people to my blog roster) but I found that they are really only entered in them for themselves and the comments they can garner and not leaving comments on others' blogs. So, I gave that up.

Home now and trying to adjust to the real world again! :)

Steve Reed said...

Gary: Interesting that the class never happened! I have a Twitter account but I never use it.

Ain't: I think a blog IS the modern form of the old-school journal. It probably does teach the same writing and reflecting skills, though it requires greater care, given its public nature.

E: I guess if teachers can grade written journals -- which they did in my day -- maybe they could stay on top of blogs, too. Sounds like a lot of work to me, though!

Ms Moon: Third-graders might actually improve the blogosphere! Ha! I actually have a Tumbler blog too (just photography, no writing) but I agree -- it IS all too damn much. And it seems every year another hot site comes along.

Bug: Oh, I don't know. I bet reading a third-grader's blog could be pretty boring too!

Elizabeth: I've found that if I just ride out some trends, they go away! I must say that I LOVE digital music, though. It's so great to be able to carry everything in a tiny device. I haven't bought a physical CD in years. In fact all my CDs are still in Florida.

RockyGrace: Yeah, that's what we said! I think his point is that the risk is vastly overstated and overemphasized in the media, which is probably true. But they're definitely out there.

Lynne: I do have fun with Facebook. It's a great way to stay in touch and share stuff. But you have to draw the line somewhere! And yeah, I'm not trying to write a blog for the entire planet to see.

37paddington said...

My job increasingly requires us to be socially networked and interacting with readers, and every story now has to have a social networking component. twitter, instagram, pinterest, vine, tablets, it has all become A LOT. the once-genteel pace of a monthly magazine is now the pace of a yawning vacuum demanding content updates numerous times a day. no wonder my daughter thinks i have ADD.

utahDOG! said...

In who's world are online predators nonexistent?


Maybe predators who are forthcoming about being predators in some brainless survey or statistical fabrication are nonexistent. But I can tell you that people you would not think of as being ogglers will oggle disturbingly so if they think they won't get identified.

I can't tell you how many times I've been to a business lunch with somebody who I thought was an upstanding guy I could trust only to be riding in a car with them and have them leer at the young kids in uniform from the local private schools. My response is to remind them that I have a daughter, to which they scoff and make some lewd comment about what they would do if given a chance and no risk of getting busted. Put that guy behind the keyboard in the privacy of his own home and god knows what he's doing. And unfortunately I don't think that behavior is rare.

Blogs for third graders? I don't think so.

Steve Reed said...

Angella: I remember that drill well from newspapers. I really wonder if magazine subscribers expect that constant stream of output, though. I never look at my magazines' web sites!

Utah: Of course, you're who I was thinking of when I wrote "some members of my family." I think the consultant was talking about verified cases of predators who have been caught -- and you're right, that can't be all of them. I do think the risk is probably overstated, but I also think third grade is too young to put kids online. (Who are you driving around with, anyway?!)