Saturday, January 24, 2009

What do the shy do online?

This thought just needed to come out...

With the proliferation of web tools that make social networking so easy, what happens to people that are shy?

Please let me explain, if I can...okay, so I am sitting here working on the laptop, getting connected to the web world and I see my twitterfox twinkling with new twitters. Today, most were from people at Educon, twittering about people they were meeting or sessions they were attending, adding tiny urls to photos of presenters or places they were staying, or eating at, or going to or from...

Now apart from the jealousy factor, as they where twittering away about the fun they were having and I was looking outside my window at the birds frozen stiff at the feeders, which really is a sad sad site, I thought to myself would I be the kind of person that would twitter my every move? Would I share my day with others, those that stalk, er follow me? Then I thought about blogging and tumblrs and Google Docs and the many other ways teachers have to get students to post thoughts to the web so others may read these writings and share feedback for the betterment of the student.

Long way to get here I know, but the next question that struck me was what happens to those students that are not open people? What about the ones that are not ready to put themselves out there for others to 'see', so to speak. I know that we as educators try to insure that all student information is confidential, and that only pen names are to be used, but if a student fears criticism, getting it under their real name or a pseudonym is not much of a difference. I wonder if sometimes we are asking something of our students that they may not be ready to commit to.

I really have no answers, not even guess at this point. I am planning my next semester and am hoping to incorporate many web 2.0 tools in my classroom. I will need to keep this in mind...



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