If this post by Chris Lehmann isn’t one of the best edublog posts of 2006, I don’t know what is. This is what I was talking about yesterday about the power of blogging (the verb.) About being willing to reflect and share and learn through the writing. Not only is he writing about real experiences, he puts them in the context of the larger struggles and issues that so many of us are dealing with. Chris is walking the fine line of the Read/Write Web in his school and he’s gracious enough to take us all along for the ride.
In this post, he talks about some serious issues that have arisen with his students use of wide open laptops. Some have been using iChat irresponsibly, and Chris and his staff have been trying hard not to take the easy route and switch it off. Instead, they have encouraged the school community to work through it, and the results have been pretty impressive so far.
So we are also leaving iChat on the computers, and we’re still encouraging students to find ways to use IM in ways that are useful, and we’re still not naive enough to think that every iChat message is on-point and relevant, but it’s a tool, and the kids and need to learn how to use it safely and effectively. And we’ll be there to help, navigate, and — when we have to — punish for when they clearly violate the rules.
But, as the rest of the story shows, this has not been an easy decision. None of this is. But posts like this force us to think in ways that push our own comfort zones and see the possibilities.