Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Plea for Pinterest

I really like rules.  I like structure and guidance.  I like knowing exactly what I'm supposed to do and, more importantly, what everyone is supposed to do.  It's why I get very upset when people neglect to use their blinker or fail to return their shopping cart to the appropriate location.  This quirk, if you will, made me an excellent student.  My approach to class was "tell me what to do, and I'll do it."  This also makes me a struggling teacher because I didn't know students existed who didn't follow the rules.  It was quite a shocking awakening, but that's another story for another blog entry.

When it comes to internet filters and blocked sites, I understand the rules and why students are prohibited from accessing what could inappropriate or distracting while using school technology.  We, as educators, however, are constantly encouraged to incorporate technology into the classroom in a way that makes things life-applicable and a bit more fun.  Most of the technology students use, however, are blocked by most school internet filters.  This limits the amount of information to which students have access and ultimately limits their freedom to information.  Websites like Youtube, Pinterest, and even Twitter provide valuable information and are a part of students' daily lives.  Teaching them how to use these tools to their advantage will benefit them significantly.  Yes, Youtube can be distracting, and yes, Pinterest can have nudity, and oh yes, Twitter has quite the issue with profanity, but this is up to teachers to instruct and monitor.  Again, teaching the effective way to use these resources will cut down on distractions and help students tap into what incredible resources are available to them.  Let us have the social media!  Everyone will be better for it.

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