Is Clean Up As Important As Crafting?

This weekend, I’m facilitating a conversation at EduCon, with Karen Blumberg, about Crafting Character. We’re hoping to have some discussion around how educators can reinforce students’ appropriate use of technology outside the classroom.

Here’s the thing- I think educators can reinforce appropriate use, but the kids aren’t always going to listen. Kids mess up. (Adults mess up, too.) And because they’re living online, they’ll mess up online, too.

Online mistakes have the potential to be harder than other mistakes. They’re the whack-a-mole of mistakes. I think we’re nearing a time, though, when many (most?) mistakes will be online. Someone’s always got a camera. Maybe kids will change their names to try to rid themselves of these mistakes once they enter “the real world” or maybe not.

So, I think equally important as the conversation about how to help kids make good choices, is how to help them cope when they make bad ones. What do you say to a girl who texted a topless picture to a friend that’s now all over school? How do we help kids develop the resilience that they need to face the experience of being bullied or the aftermath of being the bully? How can students narrate past digital lives they’re not proud of to employers when they hit the job market?

I’m hoping we get to talk about that, too.

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One thought on “Is Clean Up As Important As Crafting?

  1. I’d sure like to be at Educon for that panel.

    For those difficult conversations about bad decisions, there are no perfect words. The attitude we bring to those moments is more important than the words anyway.

    When we’re in that position, we need to be honest without judgement. If we can’t bring that mindset, we should probably recuse ourselves.

    The student’s words are more important than ours, so we need to listen more than talk. But we are teachers, so we need to at least try to ensure that something of worth is learned. Meredith, you’re very good at that.

    Just like in your portfolio projecst, students need some time and opportunity to reflect and report, especially when it’s about a screw-up.

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