Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Innovative Educator tries to change the mind of an administrator who “thinks” he disagrees with my stance on friending students online

When George Swain read my Tweet, “Told the mayor on his Facebook page, he was inappropriate for judging teachers who friend students, he replied with this:

georgeswain @InnovativeEdu Very interesting issue! I think I disagree with you. See my post to your blog. Thanks for getting me thinking this morning.

What I’m optimistic about is that George said, “I ‘think’ I disagree with you.” and he thanked me for getting him thinking. Clearly, George has an open mind, and I’m excited for the opportunity to potentially expand his thinking. From what I can gather in a quick peer into George’s life, he is a cool guy whose company I can easily see both me and my boyfriend enjoying. Me, because his bio defines him as an educator, he's also an administrator and he’s demonstrated that he is a thoughtful, inquisitive, and articulate one at that. My boyfriend because he would enjoy hanging with George because he’s an ultradistance cyclist and I’m sure they could both talk for hours about cycling.

On his blog, George quotes T.S. Eliot "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." -- T.S. Eliot

I love that quote, and so, now, I’m hoping George and other innovative educators and administrators will go on a bit of a risk taking journey with me into the world of social media and education.

George responded to my post, Mayoral "BANdates" are not the answer for preparing 21st century students for success with the following comment:

I get your point about the mayor mouthing off about something he admits to knowing little about. In system with a rigid and steep hierarchy like the NYC public school system, this must just drive you crazy as an innovative and creative teacher. On a more basic level, though I am not convinced that friending kids on Facebook is a wise choice for teachers or other educators. I am an administrator at a small independent school that requires students to use laptops in grades 7-12 and embraces digital technologies enthusiastically. We encourage students and faculty to explore and use all types of social networking tools to expand their learning. Some platforms, on the other hand, like Facebook, are rife with problems specifically because they represent the un-mediated social world of adolescents. I get that great schools will be the ones that prepare kids to be responsible digital citizens, but friending kids in their little social world of Facebook crosses a line between teachers and students that is problematic

I am friends with past students on Facebook and communicate with adolescents and teachers through a range of social media platforms, but you've not convinced me that the benefits do not outweigh the dangers with this one. Am I missing something.

I am not worried in the least that the teachers in my school will make inappropriate overtures to their students. What does concern me, though, is what teachers will do when they come into contact with inappropriate, dangerous and perhaps illegal behaviors on-line. For example, if you see something about a party where parents will be away and alcohol may be served flash across your news feed, do you call the parents? The police? Look the other way? If there is a car accident on the way home from that party, do you feel responsible? If you've done nothing, I think you are responsible on a moral if not legal level. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but I think that when adults enter the social worlds of children they cross a line. Of course we are open to aspects of this world all the time through the general work with and care for our students. They come to us with problems and we observe their social dynamics in front of us every day. On a parallel level, I would not encourage teachers to engage in their students' social worlds through other media like telephones or simply hanging out with them at the mall on a Saturday night.

When teachers friend their students on Facebook, they enter a social world that they may very well not be able to navigate. By the way, I just asked my 14 year old daughter what she thought and she said, "teachers friending kids on Facebook, that's creepy." Maybe it's just her, but do you really want to be a part of what's going on with 12-18 year olds on Facebook? You may find that you have more work on your shoulders than you can handle.

A thoughtful comment indeed. Rather than responding to George, directly on the post, I felt the conversation deserved it’s own blog post. Below is my response and attempt to push George’s thinking a little bit.

@George Swain, I’d like to know what you perceive as the dangers for an educator open to connecting with students in whichever environment they or offline. As an educator I am a role model for responsible behavior in my online and offline worlds and think the existence of adults in all environments of students is a good thing. My role is the same online as it is off line. I don’t behave as a student / child just because I am in a certain environment. Whether I’m in a classroom, playground, park, or in an online environment, I’m there to help students learn and ensure they are safe.

You share that you are concerned about what teachers will do when they come into contact with inappropriate, dangerous and perhaps illegal behaviors on-line...the answer is simple. The same thing they’d do if they come into contact with this face-to-face. I would hope you aren’t suggesting educators turn their heads. Our kids need us looking at them, stepping in and guiding and protecting them. A close colleague and guidance counselor I know shares that Facebook has become an extremely crucial platform in her effort to keep students safe and happy.

As far as your question about what to do if you find out students are having a party when parents are away, again, the answer is simple. The same thing you do if you heard students discussing the same thing at school. To answer your question, should you feel responsible if someone gets hurt because you’ve done nothing with information you had and this could have been prevented if you had done something? Well, I certainly would feel responsible if I did nothing when I could have done something.

There are educators and leaders out there who acknowledge that it isn’t easy being involved in the lives of students online, but they also believe that they didn’t take this job because it was easy and if they can help their student...the whole student in his or her life...then although banning is the easy way out, it is not something they morally feel responsible doing. You can see what I mean by reading principal Chris Lehmann’s comment on this post and principal Eric Shenninger’s post

I’m surprised that you say you wouldn’t encourage teachers to engage in students’ worlds through media like telephones. If I have a student that wants to speak with me, I want to be there. As far as a teacher hanging out with students at a mall on a Saturday night...I’m just not seeing that. Connecting with students in online environments, doesn’t mean that we’re hanging out with them any more than we are on the playground, cafeteria, or classroom. We’re together in these spaces and our roles remain the same.

As far as your daughter’s response, I understand her reaction, because it’s something that so few adults do, but when we assume the same role online as we do in the real world, it is no longer creepy. I should mention, btw, that most educators I know don’t request friendships, but accept them from students who reach out. My boyfriend is friends with both of his children on Facebook and he has the same role there as he does in real life. Like a teacher, when parents are in online worlds, they are more connected and safety and responsibility are ensured. As an educator myself, when I have an opportunity to offer words of encouragement, advice, and celebration to students online or offline, they appreciate it and I engage the same way regardless of the environment. Being friends with students also enables me to easily tag them in a post or note about something I think they might find interesting...and we have an easy way we can all chat about it. In fact that was exactly what I did when one of my students and I were featured in the NY Times in a positive story about Facebook being a great medium for students to tell teachers how much they’ve meant to them.

Thank you for commenting and hopefully allowing me to push your thinking and solidify mine.

So, George, I’m dying to know. How’d I do?


  1. I think I may be taking George's side here. I'm not sure it's wrong to "friend" students on Facebook, but I do feel that it is inappropriate when they are still in your class, unless it is being confined to a private group conversation.

    There needs to be a separation between personal and professional. I don't necessarily want my students to know that I have a boyfriend, that I like going out to nightclubs, or that I am Greek Orthodox, whether that information is harmless or not. Students might start to question whether I would be accepting of homosexuality because I am straight, whether I drink to excess because they see a picture of me on the dance floor, or if I'd be biased against their religion because I'm my religious view states "Greek Orthodox". The answer could be simply to not post that information, but if I want to, and it's nothing that sets a bad example, why should I have leave it out? What if it helps me to build networks for other professional outlets? Plus, I don't want my students to be able to read my mind/interests and start writing their papers to match what they believe I would like read. I want them to write what matters to them.

    Furthermore, there is a line between classroom life and personal life. Are you really able to be a second set of parents for some 100 kids (maybe your school is small, but in my high school that would mean keeping tabs on 100+ students per year). I know you're a super teacher, but not everyone is prepared to deal with their students' personal lives. We aren't guidance counselors, and we don't have the tools to counsel students in that way.

    Finally, let's say a student make a comment about a colleague and friend stating that she/he is a terrible teacher-- what do you do then?

  2. I still have to agree with George (and Bloomberg) too. I'm not in the classroom anymore, but when I was, I was clear on my role. I'm not my students' friend; I'm their teacher. And while there's lots of overlap in the roles (both are supportive, both are good counselors, both take interest in someone's daily life), they're not the same. Students should get to have their social world without a teacher reading everything they post. And teachers should keep their adult social lives out of their students' view.

  3. Hi Lisa and George:
    This is a great dialogue. Thanks.
    Lisa - there's a listserve for heads of independent schools and this has been a recent topic. On Friday I linked to your post to provide the sole alternative to the prevailing views which tend toward the ban and block end of the spectrum.

    (And - btw - I am lucky enough to work with George.)

    Meanwhile - thanks for the debate. But - where's the name calling, venom and bile? Don't either of you care enough to abuse each other on line?

  4. Great post! In the past I have always accepted student friend requests--never initiated them. However, this policy must be absolute. You must accept them all, not just some of them. Furthermore, I find that the same rules apply on Facebook as in the classroom. The roles are the same, just a different medium. Finally, I think there is a great learning opportunity here--using Facebook lists! Many people against student friends seem to think everything they post will be viewable to everyone and vice versa. If I come across something that I only want certain "friends" to see, I use the appropriate list! I read recently where only 5% of Facebook users take advantage of this feature, but yet everyone screams about privacy. There is a way to take control of your online persona given you use the tools available.

  5. @NP, love your response as it extends my thinking even further.

    First, I. do take issue with, and am offended by generalities of statements like, "I feel that it is inappropriate to friend students on Facebook when they are still in your class." Just as I respect the opinions of other educators to make decisions for what is appropriate for themselves, I don't feel those of us who have chosen to take a different path should be labeled as doing something inappropriate by the Mayor or other educators. The reason this bothers me so much is that the next part to such conversations is often the BANdates imposed as I discussed in my previous post and I am concerned about others getting in the way of innovative educators who working in the best interests of our students.

    While I understand that you don't want to delve into conversations such as religion, stance on homosexuality, drinking responsibly etc., I feel these are exactly the types of conversations educators (who are open to this) should be having with students. I want my students to know I respect all religions, sexual orientations, and that I might unwind at night with a glass of wine but would never drink and drive.

    I respect that you feel there needs to be a separation between personal and professional, but to me knowing both/all sides of students and colleagues leads to deeper connecting and understanding. How cool for me when I learn a student or colleague also loves beach volleyball or that we both enjoy books from the same author. I do want my students to know I have a boyfriend, not a husband, I don't have children and that these were deliberate decisions that are available to them too.

    If I give a student an assignment for which I am the only audience member (not something I believe in btw...) then heck yeah. I want my kids to research their audience and write something that appeals to me. If my students are doing an assignment about something that matters to them and has an authentic audience, I would want them to write with that audience in mind...and looking on Facebook is one smart way to do that.

    As to your question about whether I want to be another set of parents, my district is the largest in the nation and many caring educators already fill that role for their students, many of who do not even live with a first set of parents. Also, being in students online worlds can simply mean being there in another platform if a student wants to reach out and connect. Whether we are prepared to deal with our students personal lives or not, at least in New York City, as mandated reporters, that is something we are required to do if a child's well-being is compromised. That doesn't mean knowing everything, but it does mean knowing when to connect students to a guidance counselor, professional service, or just be a friend and listen to show you care.

    Do I expect all educators to be willing to take on the aforementioned role? No, but I would never say that those who do are inappropriate.

    As to your question about what to do if a student comments stating you are a terrible teacher? The same thing you do if you hear it in the hallway of course. And, that's already happening in online spaces anyway. If anything, the existence of teachers in these spaces would make that less likely to occur.

  6. @Deb,

    Being in students online spaces shouldn't change your relationship with them. If you were only a teacher in school and not a friend, you can serve in that role online as well. Why, do I suggest this adults are in these worlds? I disagree with you about students being able to have their social world without a teacher online or offline. They need us in these spaces if nothing else to help keep them safe. Am I suggesting we read everything they post. Absolutely not, just the same way we wouldn't need to listen in on every conversation in the lunchroom, but when a fight breaks out, or when a student approaches us with a question or concern, it's nice for them to know there is someone they can turn to.

  7. @Josie,
    Thanks for chiming in. Thank you so much for sharing my post to the listserve. Can I be invited? As far as the mudslinging and venom, apologies for the disappointment. Trying to win people over here. In fact, I'm happy to offer free honey to anyone expressing interest.

  8. @Jeff Thomas,
    Thank you for the kudos and sharing your experience and advice. I agree. We must be consistent with policies and apply the same rules we apply in physical worlds. And, yes! yes! yes! Facebook is just a medium. Using a communication tool should not be confused with being inappropriate. Inappropriate is a behavior, not a platform which is devoid of intent.

    Your advice about lists is a good one for those who need it. I just don't share online something I wouldn't want others to see, but for those who do, that is a great suggestion. Some other ideas educators are practicing is having a professional and personal account or setting up a fan page.

    As far as controlling online persona, tis true what you say. I'd add that if you have a message and a vision, publish it online and be the main producer of content that defines your online identity.

  9. I just want to say thank you for your initial post, your response to George and your responses to all the other comments.
    They articulate so well what I think but haven't been able to get my pen, or my mouth around as yet because I am always so flabbergasted by and yes, outright offended by people who suggest I am doing something wrong by having students on my facebook contact list.
    I don't know how long it will be before everyone understands that 'online' is just another place where adults and children co exist but I hope the transition will come soon. It's exhausting to have to keep defending my right to be a supportive presence in all my students' worlds.
    Anne De Manser

  10. @kwaussie, you are welcome. I like how you frame Facebook as a place we co exist. I will definitely use that in future writing. Co existence doesn't mean our roles change. They exist wherever we are. I also don't think we need new policies for the wide new world of social media. Policies are the same regardless of the platform. In fact as someone suggested on Twitter, it could be as simple as:
    Don't be a jerk. Help out others if someone is being a jerk to them and in general, do unto others...

    Kudos to you for being a supportive presence in all your students' worlds...even though it is exhausting.

  11. Hi Lisa - I think I need to split my response into multiple posts for space reasons. Sorry. Here goes.

    Thank you so much for not only responding to my points, but for devoting so much space to the question on your blog. It is an issue that all of us who care about kids, learning and the future spend a lot of time thinking about. Thanks, too, Lisa, for the kind words.
    Your response furthered and deepened my thinking about this issue in interesting ways. I think I was approaching the question from a somewhat different angle than you. Were you suggesting that there is an academic rationale for using Facebook in schools? I thought you were, but I’ve missed these reasons entirely in your response and in the responses of others to this and previous posts. Do you have any examples of how teachers are productively using Facebook other than just connecting with and being close to their students socially? I’m sure there are many. Your argument seems to suggest that joining Facebook with current students is an end in itself. That the learning will naturally flow when they cry out at some point for guidance or redirection and the teacher will be on hand to steer them onto the right course. That and being friendly with students is generally a good idea. That I agree with the latter point, but do not see Facebook as the best forum.

    I am actually a big fan of social networking in education for student/teacher learning, to expand what’s possible in the classroom, and for adult professional development. It’s just Facebook, as it is currently used by adolescents, that I question. I think we can teach with other tools and make points with kids that they can transfer to their use of all social networking tools. I have seen great value in the use of tools like wikis, Ning, Google groups, blogs, Twitter, Diigo, etc.

    I used a wiki last year with a 5th and 6th grade literature group. We created an amazing forum in which kids were able to discuss a novel outside the classroom, build collaboratively on each other’s ideas and extend the learning in ways that were impossible several years ago. It also placed far more responsibility and authority into the hands of students which I think is always a great idea. We did not need Facebook for this class. Wikispaces worked very well. I also made a point (in this largely pre-Facebook crowd) of mentioning that while I did not see anything at all wrong with Facebook, I did see something wrong with lying about your identity and age and reminded them that the current rules ban Facebook for kids under 12 so anyone who defies that rule and signs up for Facebook is lying about his or her age.

    If “friending” current students on Facebook is done to achieve social ends, I will still say that this is not a good idea. It seems too much like hanging out with teenagers at the mall. Are you arguing that social networking sites should eliminate all social boundaries between students and teachers? I could not agree more that educators are role models for kids in and outside of the classroom. I do not agree with you, though, that “the existence of adults in all environments of students is a good thing.” (Emphasis added) I also don’t think that most kids would agree with this statement. Here we get back to the mall parallel. There are things we all chose to share with the different constituencies in our lives. With colleagues, friends, superiors, family members, students, our children, friends of our children, etc. By inviting everyone into the same agora, we eliminate our ability to differentiate what is appropriate for whom, unless we resort to complex schemes of sharing certain things with certain people via filtering blocks which seems far too complicated to me. It’s supposed to be fun, right?

  12. Part 2:

    I’d like to thank Jeff for raising the issue of “lists” as this is something I need to look into. It may be that there is a functionality to Facebook now that would eliminate many of my concerns. I know as a school that we use a Facebook group to connect teachers, parents, students, alums and anyone interested in the school. The group functionality has enabled us to do this because it shields so much of the private material that would raise all kinds of issues were it open. There are plenty of people who belong to that group whom I have no interest in knowing my private business.

    I also certainly get the whole “modeling” thing. It’s why I work in education. I’m much more concerned about the people my students are and will become than I am with the facts they learn along the way. I have worked to create a laptop school and infuse our curriculum with web 2.0 tools and aptitudes because these both accelerate learning exponentially in the here and now and represent the world in which our children will live in the future.

    Of course I agree with you that we need to step in whenever there is a “teachable moment” to comment about safety, risk, decision-making, etc. My main argument though, is that with Facebook, teachers may easily bite off more than they can chew. Do all teachers really follow up on all of those Newsfeed comments that concern them? Do you or your guidance counselor friend poke around in a child’s profile if you are concerned about his/her decision-making? Is that ethical? Where do you stop? I’ve actually had adult friends of mine tell me they’ve dropped out of Facebook entirely because the whole voyeuristic side of it was bothering them.

    Also, as far as the reaction of my 14 year old, I don’t want to make too much of this because clearly there are students who welcome teachers as friends on Facebook. For the record, though, my own daughter likes and respects her teachers very much. She just doesn’t want to interact with them in her Facebook world.

    Lisa, you are clearly an incredible educator who cares deeply about her students. You are also probably very good about establishing and maintaining boundaries. In addition to my “day job” I also work on the faculty of a beginning teachers institute and facilitate a workshop series for division heads (principals) in their first one or two years on the job. As a result, I think a great deal about the struggles that people new to these positions face on a daily basis. I think that the boundary issues that a tool like Facebook generates are exactly what most people new to the profession or to their position will have most trouble navigating. Maybe if you just have one or two student friends it’s not such a big deal. What about a whole classroom of kids? I guess I was responding to what I thought was a suggestion that we use this tool in the classroom, thereby making ALL of your students your “friends.”

    Ultimately, I guess I’m not convinced that friending current students on Facebook is a good idea. There are plenty of other tools available to achieve the goals you outlined and the risks seem to outweigh the benefits. Thanks again, Lisa for pushing me to think through this issue more deeply. This is one of the reasons why I love Twitter so much. Have a great week!

  13. @George Swain,
    Between work and life (pesky time suckers :-P), I’ve been trying to find time to respond to your comment. I finally have a moment. So, (big breath) here goes my two-part response back atcha.

    Part 1

    Regarding your question about if there is academic rationale for using Facebook, well, yes. I’ve written various ways it can be used to engage learners, and many educators have written about how they use it as a learning platform, but that is not really my point. My point is that it’s also another way to communicate with students and if done appropriately, it is a way some teachers may choose to connect. Just as I don’t think a teacher needs to provide academic rational for using their voice to connect face-to-face or via phone, using a pen and paper to connect via writing, using email to connect their words digitally, etc, I think Facebook is just another way some teachers, leaders, guidance counselors, parents are connecting with students powerfully. I applaud those who are in those worlds because, by virtue of being there, they are helping to keep kids safe, provide advice, share insights, and escalate matters if a student seems to be in danger.

    However, just as I don’t believe we should mandate every teacher share their phone number and email, I also don’t think we should tell teachers who are making connections in these ways that they should not. Are we so mistrustful of the relationships that teachers have with students that we are afraid for them to communicate? From all this BANdating going on, it seems that is really perhaps the heart of the problem.

    You share that you don’t see Facebook as the best platform to connect with students. I don’t contend it is. However, it is one, in an arsenal of tools that works well at times for some educators. Some have argued that they don’t want colleagues friends on their Facebooks, but for me, I have made powerful connections with my personal learning network there and it has provided a platform to engage in deep meaning...just as Twitter has done for you (and me). I don’t want other people mandating how I do my job with colleagues or students and I want to teach students to use social media as a tool to build their own PLNs. I have no problem with outsiders mandating behavior that keeps kids safe, but when they mandate the tools I use to do my job best, I have a problem. And, much of the time, those making the rules don’t even know how to use the tools and some of the time, they’re not even educators.

    To your point about other tools, I agree! I use and find valuable every tool you mentioned. Wikis, ning, Google groups, blogs, Twitter, Diigo, etc. etc. etc. I use them all constantly for different reasons when it is appropriate. I want myself and other educators to be empowered to use the right tool for what it is they are trying to do. I want to be able to use them all and be empowered and trusted to do so appropriately.

  14. @George Swain
    Part 2

    As I’ve been consistently stating in these various posts, the focus needs to get off the tool, and onto the behavior. The behavior is what needs to be addressed regardless of the platform and if students and adults are behaving appropriately, then great. If not, the person, not the tool should suffer the consequences.

    As far as your disagreement with my stand that the existence of adults in students worlds is a good thing, I stick by that and also say the roles are no different then in the real world. You bring up the Mall parallel. Adults are not banned from such environments. We count on adults in these environments. They’re not hanging with the kids, but the kids know they’re there and there existence helps keep them safe. Every so often there may be banter between adults and kids say inside a pet store when looking at a puppy or perhaps when admiring an accessory. They’re not hanging, but they’re existing in the same space and that is a good thing.

    I don’t think that allowing everyone in the same space eliminates our ability to know what is appropriate for whom. An adult should know what is appropriate wherever they are and being online does not take away the ability to distinguish what is appropriate from what is inappropriate. As I mentioned previously, my role doesn’t change just because the platform or environment does.

    I think ultimately, what I am asking of administrators, policymakers, and educators is to stop the finger pointing and labeling. The tools in your arsenal may be different than the ones in mine. Unless I find you are doing something inappropriate with your tools, I will not label YOU as doing something inappropriate just by virtue of the fact that you use a tool that I personally do not feel comfortable using. I have shared a few times now, that it does offend me when I’m told I (and several other educators I respect) are doing something inappropriate because of the platform we use. We are not. If we don’t take it as a tenet that we judge the behavior, not the tool, we all stand at risk to have the power to make the best decisions in the interest of our students away from us and into the hands of those who don’t work with our students or share the same teaching style. When you take the power of selecting the right tool for students away from educators...well, that’s just something I find really inappropriate.

    So, George, will you agree that while Facebook may not be the right tool for you to use with YOUR students, there are some, like me, who feel it is the right tool for us to use with OURS. Unless you can point to what we’ve done inappropriately in that space, we 1) appreciate others refrain from judging 2) ask that we aren’t banned from the opportunity to choose the tool that we feel best meets the needs of our students.

  15. Making enduring connections with kids, keeping them safe, steering them in the right direction when necessary and learning from them is what teaching all about. If Facebook can be a platform to make this happen more effectively then I’m all for it. My concern remains that when teachers enter the world that is Facebook they open themselves to a level of responsibility that is fundamentally different from the other forms of communication you mention. It is not the tool, but the way that the tool is currently used by kids that concerns me. When you enter into a “friendship” with someone on Facebook, as you know, it is not as if you participate only in direct conversations with that person, but rather open yourself to the archive of all of their past communications with others as well.

    The parallel to spoken conversation or even phone conversations is not apt. For instance, when you approach a group of your students who have been involved in a student-only conversation, the tone of their discussion will (perhaps subtly) certainly change. A teacher is standing there after all. The gossip about who likes whom and who went “how far” with whom at the dance will shift. They will likely not want to offend you or include you in these typical teenage conversations. We may not want kids to leave this nonsense in their digital wake on-line, but the fact is they do. There is nothing “bad” about most of it. It’s just not what you discuss with your teacher. With Facebook, it’s as if when you approach the group, you have a visual archive of all they have ever discussed. I realize that teaching kids to leave a responsible digital footprint is one of our most important challenges, but this may well be a Herculean task for individual teachers who enter into Facebook friendships with kids. You can’t just do it half-way.

    Will the presence of teachers and other trusted adults transform the tone and content of what kids post on Facebook? Undoubtedly. Is this a good thing? Absolutely. Will Facebook become “less cool” with all of these adults in the room? Probably. Will kids find another cool place to “hang out?” You bettcha. Remember The Social Network? The “coolness factor” was one of the main points.

    Anyway, to your other point, I do not in any way “judge” teachers who chose to connect with kids on Facebook. I think teachers should have the freedom to make these decisions on their own. We do not even have a rule in our little school that forbids this practice. I still feel strongly that teachers should not make this decision lightly. They really do open themselves up to a whole world of responsibility that they will need to follow through on. Talk about teaching being a 24 hour job?!? Yikes.

    I agree with you that the mayor of New York City, the New York State Board of Regents and district administrators have no place in creating policies that compromise the potential of web 2.0 technologies in and out of the classroom. Asking educators to drive their heads into the sand like ostriches is not going to meet the needs of students now or in the future. As you said so well, finger pointing, blaming and judging is no way to build a vibrant educational system.

    Thanks for engaging in this conversation with me. I've learned a great deal from you. Have a great week.