Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Schools Should Be Teaching Kids How to Use the Internet Well - Abigail Walthausen - The Atlantic

Randy Snyder/AP Photo

During this year’s State of the Union
address, President Obama championed the goal of increasing bandwidth in
schools across the country. The following day, a group of CEOs wrote an open letter encouraging
the chairman of the FCC to “act boldly to modernize the E-rate program
to provide the capital needed to upgrade our K-12 broadband connectivity
and Wi-Fi infrastructure.” These calls to action were answered
with pledges from business leaders amounting to $750 million dollars,
an influx of money that should help provide more enriching learning
environments for students across the country.  

As schools begin to plan for the benefits of
improved connectivity, it is important to consider the responsibility of
giving students guidance in becoming productive citizens of the web.
New curricula must acknowledge the many-headed hydra that is social
media: Its forms range from the mundane
distraction to be overcome to the 21st century communication skill to be
mastered. Integration of conscious social media use as well as policies
that provide more free and unfiltered Internet access are two ways of
modeling best practices and actively teaching Internet skills within
schools.
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