Friday, June 26, 2009
Student Safety in on line Forums
I've just been off visiting a site from the extra resources section open thinking educator. Knowing Leigh a little, I expect we were linked to that site because there is a significant and ongoing debate on that site about copyright and access to information. Leigh is big on the idea of free education and the theme is followed through in his second extra resources link.
I haven't actually formed an opinion on that topic yet but what interested me about the site was the intensity of the debate. It felt like any minute now they were going to start throwing things or hitting each other. Clearly participants were engaging by choice and could choose not to engage but it all started from one guy stating his vision for open education. In my student cohort there are always some very vulnerable students. I'm picturing one of them making an 'innocent' or perhaps niave value ridden statement and coming under public scrutiny and attack. That could be absolutely soul destroying and worse for some of my students. It is an issue that needs considerable thought in relation to online learning. Ensuring our students safety can be difficult enough in the face to face environment.