Can we educators be too paranoid?

Globe trotting at the moment, sitting on the balcony of my hotel room looking out to to Caribbean (yes this is a brag). I have just been chatting via skype to an old friend. To protect both the innocent and guilty in this case, the conversation provoked some considerable thought around the following question.

Can educators be too paranoid about social media?

From the gist of the conversation the immediate conclusion would be yes. The challenge faced by the soul in question was how to deliver a programme on social media / web 2.0 in an environment that blocked every possible resource in the name of ‘Child Protection’ in spite of the fact the majority are over 16 and in the case of the course in question, over 18.

I am a vociferous advocate of ‘child protection’ but to remain sane I also champion ‘common sense’. Social media and web 2.0 technologies are a way of life for the all generations especially our youth. Blocking something they already have access to on their phones and at home does not encourage child protection, it indicates self preservation and legal paranoia on the part of those managing these systems.

The worrying issue is that in trying to teach the upcoming generation how to harness these technologies for the good of themselves and others. There are some entities hampering reasonable attempts at education, for the sake of system security and a misunderstanding of how to protect the younger generation.

Ah well, I am sure some enlightened soul at this centre (As well as many others) has already found a work around.

Andrew Smith
Follow me on Twitter: @teraknor


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