Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Students' Online Reality

A series of videos was published by PBS's Frontline earlier this year, beginning in January. The series was titled "Growing Up Online". The seven part series explores how the modern internet has transformed the experience of childhood.

The topics covered in this series include how much of a teen's life is lived online - and how much of that life is known to, or hidden from their parents. The second part of the series explores how school systems are trying to understand and relate to students who live lives outside of school that are often alien to their teachers. Several of the programs touch on some of the positives of this new online generation - one being the opportunity for creativity - often a kiss of death for a shy student in school - to thrive and prosper in an online environment. Also explored is the fear and myths about online predators, as well as a guide for parents trying to understand and cope with this new world their children are growing up in.

The Growing Up Online series is 7 parts long - with each segment being around seven to nine minutes long, so it is easy to view it in short segments. Although your home connection may struggle with this a little, you should have no problem viewing the segments at school.

For ANY teacher - Growing Up Online is a must see. This series offers a sometimes anxious, but often hopeful look at how our students are exploring and innovating within this new frontier.

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