On our last night of “vacation” we stopped to visit some friends in Pleasantville, NY, (where, btw, property values are about as outrageous as you’ll find…a two-bedroom ranch for $750,000? Oy.)
Anyway, another couple came over for dinner, and before long the six of us started talking about taxes and schools and education and the Web. I was almost amazed because someone actually got not only blogs but also had a grip on RSS…he was thinking of starting a blog with his new investment advice business. Good thing I was sitting down! We also started talking about how little parents really know about what their kids do online, how most of them don’t really “get” blogs or IM or community sites like Myspace.com. Of course, I got on my soapbox about how kids have no models for appropriate use of these technologies and how the only place they are going to get it was from school. And we all agreed that it’s the same way for parents…they are looking to the schools for guidance.
So here’s my latest “If I Had the Time I’d Do It” idea: a Moodle course on the Web for our parents. We’ll offer it up four times a year, have it run for four weeks, cover how the Web is changing, Read/Write Web technologies, blogs, IM, acceptable use, some Web literacy stuff, how to talk to their children about this stuff, safety issues, etc., get them participating in the forums, and send them an official certificate at the end. It’ll even have a playlist. I think it could be a great way of a) helping parents get up to speed on some of these issues, b) create some community among the community, and c) provide a needed public service.
Now, if I could just carve out a few days to build it…
Bud Hunt says
Isn’t there a business model in there somewhere?
Brian Mull says
Wow, what an idea. Let me know if you want to start it up. I’m a bit new to some of this, but I would be willing to jump on board and do some leg work. This is a definite need. This year, my school wants me to do some parent education classes on just this issue.
Jack Macleod says
I’m in Will, if you find the time and want some help. Parental education is going to be a key component of what we’re doing in the near future. I still think of the parent who said their son was a good student because he spent hours everynight on the Internet (in his bedroom behind a closed door). Parents have no experience with this world and need to become digital immigrants.