Here’s 3 reasons I don’t think
14 15 (whoops!) year-olds have a full part to play in the edublogosphere:
- They haven’t had much life experience. In the same way that you wouldn’t appoint a newly-qualified teacher to run a school, teenagers haven’t got the experience to make fully informed comments on education. They only see one side of the picture.
- The transparency that we almost demand in the edublogosphere – even the simple ‘what’s your name and where do you come from’ – cannot be provided by these youngsters due to child protection issues. The edublogosphere therefore just becomes another anonymous forum to them.
- They tend to be ships without a rudder, speeding off in one direction and then another. Yes, they need interactions with more mature people to give them this ‘rudder’, but I would argue that they learn by imitation. The best place for this is offline – especially given point 2!
It’s not up to me who you follow on Twitter or whose blogs you read, but I see teenagers as having the same role in the edublogosphere as student councils do in schools. That is informing professionals.
Finally, I just find it all a bit unhealthy that we treat a 14 year-old as a fully paid-up member of adult discussions. It’s a bit like me interacting with students on Facebook, MySpace or Bebo. As a teacher, I just don’t do it.
I’d love to hear some proper justifications of why I should that aren’t platitudes or crowd-pleasing posturing… 😉