Monday, February 11, 2013

Barriers to Learning

Erecting barriers to participation deprives teens of access to these forms of learning. Participation in the digital age means more than being able to access “serious” online information and culture. Youth could benefit from educators being more open to forms of experimentation and social exploration that are generally not characteristic of educational institutions. (Ito, 2009, p. 2)
Barrier to Learning
"Mathafix-Echelle-Mur" taken from

I often hear about schools that ban certain websites. I am sure that all of them do it, but it makes me wonder if banning social media sites is the right way to go.

I am sure that there is the fear that students will spend all their time on a site like Facebook. Another one might be all the problems that come along with social media, like online bullying. Maybe there are schools that fear law suits because of bullying.

I wonder though, how students can learn how to behave responsibly online without the access to these sites. They will learn to leverage the sites to gain knowledge, but I would bet that their friends and classmates can show them different, and maybe more efficient, ways of using social media sites.

Can you teach someone about responsibility by taking it away?

I am interested to hear how other schools deal with social media. Do you ban all sites? Some?

Itō, Mizuko, et al. Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2009. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning. Web. 6 Feb. 2013. <>.

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