Physical and Digital Walls

At home, students log on. They log on to games, they chat with friends, and connect with people around the world. They have skills and knowledge often surpassing that of the adults in their lives.

At school, they are made to log off. Server limitations, even safety settings (such as those preventing safe online chat services) block students from accessing information and connecting digitally with others.
Even some teachers who have embraced technology and resources, such as Pinterest, cannot access their accounts on school servers.

There are some truly powerful learning opportunities out there, like Quadblogging, that are great tools for supporting global citizenship while ensuring online safety.
Blogging in general is a rich learning resources for students to interact and present their ideas in a safe way, providing them with an active ownership of learning that was not possible before the Internet.
However, the use of such resources are up to the discretion of teachers, many of whom are still wary of the safety implications of their students having an online presence.
Schools who use an internet policy prohibiting students sharing their name and face in videos or images are immediately ruled out.

We may be designing open plan learning spaces, utilising team teaching and developing our pedagogy, but in this time of globalisation and connectivity are we actually building digital walls around our students?

Are we allowing our pedagogy and use of technology to develop with the children or have we failed to understand the connection between their online lives and time in the classroom?

Have we moved with the times, or is there little difference between the learning experiences in the classrooms of today and the classrooms of our parents and grandparent’s time?

Physical and Digital Walls
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