We Network Our Pets but not our Students

So many Web 2.0 sites are proliferating, but Social Networking for Pets?  The only social networking I've ever noticed with my cute little doggie engaging in is the sharing of her backside with the neighbor's Chihuahua!

ZooToo allows pet lovers to network, answer questions, and help their pets… well, network.

I find it ironic that pet networking would probably have a higher success rate than educational networking, and yet, Classroom 2.0 has almost 11,000 members, and I actually meet people on there. 

I find it shameful to hear so many teachers talk of the obstacles for instituting educational networks between our students and wish our textbook companies would take more of a leadership role in this.  I think the worst enemy is that so many educators insist on calling it “social” networking.

I'm sorry, I don't run a social network! I run educational networks and they are to be used for that purpose.  Do they talk about their personal lives and hobbies? Yes, sometimes.  Do they socialize? Is it where they want to head after school — I don't think so.

They love our networks but they have a purpose.  It is an extension of my class and I treat it as such. 

So, when you roll out a Ning or other network to your students, don't call it a social network or you're heading for trouble.  Do you want the responsibility of monitoring a SOCIAL network?  I don't. 

It is educational network, I am an educator.  I have a classroom with online and offline spaces. 

So, let's network but let's also understand what we are doing and be careful of language that will misrepresent what we're trying to do.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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