Sunday, August 22, 2010

Video Rebuttal to Educational Leaders and Parents On The Social Media Ban Wagon

As students move full speed ahead into the 21st century there are still some detours on the path to the future. Take the principal recently featured on Good Morning America who is encouraging parents to support his directive to ban students from using social media. Even though he recognizes that most students act responsibly online, he allows the bottom 2% of teens who act irresponsibly to dictate the course of action for the rest.

A 16-year-old student who goes to school in the community feels differently. In response to the video, he felt he had to comment and shared this advice.

Parents- just talk to your kids! Family bonds are important, always. If your kids will turn to you when they have trouble with things like cyberbullying and other related activity's, you can help them overcome it. Blood runs thick, keep it that way. Family members support one another, so support your kid. Parents are role models, so don’t keep them away from technology that’s here to stay, learn about it and let them use it positively.

Smart kid. If adults stopped and listened to student voices they would likely be better served. As I watched the video there were so many thoughts bouncing around in my mind, so I thought I’d try something different and create a video rebuttal in captions which turned out to be a nice way to make the proverbial yelling at the screen a shared experience balanced out with words of advice from a principal who thinks outside the ban.

Here it is.

For more on this topic including 23 additional comments check out Scott McLeod's post.
Video – Response to principal who bans social media


  1. What can you say to the principal that would be any better than the response by this student? This is the way you respond to someone with whom you disagree, using logic and facts. This is the kind of communication skills we should be helping all kids to learn.

  2. Here is my response

  3. Calling for a ban on social media will not work. It is impossible to prevent students from engaging in it. As educators we have two choices: 1) we can try to ban all social media and watch as students engage in it out of our sight and presence, or 2)we can embrace it with our children and students and teach them to be responsible cyber-citizens. As for me in my role as principal, I prefer the latter. It is our responsibility to educate and I think that includes the responsible use of social media.

  4. My response to the call for banning social media:

  5. I would suggest that banning students from social media is similar to banning students from books. It is censorship and I disagree with it. I strongly advocate for teaching students how to utilize social media correctly. Although I would add that facebook has an age limit imposed of 13. This would mean that most of the students in this principals middle school are under the age for using facebook. Thus I believe that he would be right to enforce the minimum age requirement. At the same time, he should be providing his students with the appropriate learning environment so they will understand how to use social media once they reach the age of 13. There are numerous applications out there that would serve this purpose. Edmodo is one example. I do not see how simply banning social media is a solution to the problem of students not using it properly. Our job as educators is to educate. Providing proper education of how to utilize social media with the proper supervision at a young age and then releasing the responsibility is a much better solution.

  6. If one or two students mooned a passing car from the back of a bus, we wouldn't shut down the entire transportation system.

  7. I love the response of "why don't we teach the student...not ban the platform," If we ban places where students act inappropriately...wouldn't we ban playgrounds and certainly school cafeterias. I think the real issue is how we now educate parents and students and when do we start that education?