Safety and Social Networking

March 20, 2008 at 10:39 am 1 comment

How can we maximize the learning power of participatory Web sites while ensuring students are protected and behave responsibly?

The various scandals around social networking abuses have garnered lots of press in the past couple of years. Predators, bullying, slander, and harassment of all kinds on sites such as MySpace and Facebook are increasingly the subjects of horror stories and play into a renewed wave of fear about the dangers online.

As a professor of educational technology and media in a teacher education program, I have encountered some frightening tales myself.

Rob was a bright, well-mannered young intern whose career almost ended in controversy in fall 2006. He entered his practicum in top form with strong classroom management skills and a brilliant grasp of the high school math curriculum. Rob was well-liked by his students—perhaps a little too much by some. Three of Rob’s female students created a fake MySpace account of the young teacher, populating the site with digital photos they found through Web searches and with information from Rob’s authentic MySpace profile. Students took these acts further, digitally altering photos to produce images of the young teacher “pounding back shooters” at a local nightclub with several high school students by his side.

Author: Alec Couros, Technology & Learning, 15th February 2008

Full article available here.

Dr. Alec Couros is a professor of Educational Technology and Media in the Faculty of Education, University of Regina, Canada.


Entry filed under: ICT, Social Impact, Trends. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

A tiny revolution The MySpace Effect

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Cam  |  March 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    There is finally a solution for online relationship safety… In Arizona there is alot of talk about background checks these days. There is a company, Crimshield, that has been on the news several times here that has an online verification system for the background check credentials of those who have been through their extensive check. I have learned by sad experience that most of the “quickie” online background check services are entirely unreliable. These guys have it figured out! I highly recommend that everyone check out — especially you social networking junkies.

    I wont let anyone on my property or through my computer unless they are Crimshiled Certified and have a verifiable background credential online. This is a growing trend in our area… I hope other parts of the country catch the vision as well.


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The purpose of this blog is to provide insight into the impact of computer games and pop culture, and effective ways of incorporating the positive surplus into learning experiences.

Please feel free to add comments and email me with any queries. I am also interested in relevant project collaboration.

Name: Alexandra Matthews
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