Monday, December 14, 2009

Google Wave at School part 2

So I got some Google Wave invites and I pass one along to the Gifted Talented/Computer Teacher.
She found a use for her invite almost right away. She is working on movie scripts with her students and it is time to discuss and peer edit them in class. She has her talented kids broken into small groups and is going to use Wave as the medium to discuss and edit.
Of course, there has to be a catch... What is your school student e-mail policy?
You need an address to get invited. We figured out a work around with dummy e-mail accounts where the teacher is the only one with full access/password. Kind of like giving her computers e-mail accounts. Hopefully that will work for her, but it does mean logging in each computer to get at Wave.
The better plan would be to set kids up with their own e-mail accounts. Less login time and a more authentic experience. But that is going to take a change in policy. We don't let kids use their e-mail at school.
I think we can keep kids safer if we teach them about privacy, cyber bullying and proper internet manners if they actually get to use an account. Set them up with an account we (parents and school) can monitor for behavior. Right now, we are so worried about what evil they may do with an account that we choose to completely ban them at school.
It is like worrying about what kids will write with pencil and paper so we ban that stuff too.
The tools aren't the problem. It is the problem behavior that is the problem. We can work on the behaviors. It will just take a little extra effort.
This may be the time to revisit policy.

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