Although the internet scares me sometimes (I struggle with technology), I do agree that online potential is something to celebrate! We spoke a lot in class about the rapid change that is happening from year to year in the technological world. The tools that I used in school differ greatly from those which my parents used, and the tools that my future students will use.
There are times at work when I am working on a particular project with students, that I clearly see the benefit of many online resources. On the other hand, I really prefer to run the other way at the mention of certain unfamiliar internet tools! I can be quite stubborn and have a tendency to cower at the thought of change.
Change is good though right? I think so. I also think that it comes with some risks. In particular, online participation is almost inevitable in our society and it can be consequential in a very negative way if precautions aren’t taken. Even with limited internet knowledge, I have the ability to reach out to people all over the world in a matter of seconds! If I am not careful about the things that I choose to share in this way, it may be too late to correct the issue by the time I realize that I made a poor choice. Today’s culture of participation is very dominantly online. Networking has its benefits, but it needs to be used with discretion. WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR KIDS!!
A few years ago, I would have laughed at you if you told me that I would want to focus on the internet in my classroom. Today though, I dream about informing kids of the wonderful array of resources that are at their fingertips. I dream about speaking to my class of the dangers of online networking and the precautions that need to be taken. I dream of doing my part to prepare children as they embark on their personal journeys through this ever-changing world.
Am I fully equipped and ready to fulfill these dreams? NOPE! That is what this class is for though, so I am confident in the ability of my future-self!