This post is not to debate the merits of Facebook. I think a lot of 5th graders are on there, whether they should be or not. It is to discuss how we are not able to teach them the safety lessons they need when we stick our head in the sand and pretend they are not. I have written about it before and it continues to irk me. As a school we do internet safety, sure, which mainly teaches the kids how scary the Internet is, instead of devoting our time to teaching them how to use the internet properly.
I have used Edmodo with my students and my students are probably more internet savvy than most other 4th or 5th graders. And while I like Edmodo one drawback is that my students don’t have control over their own settings. I set it all up so that they are protected. I decide what they can post and who they can post to. Edmodo is a step yes, but it is not enough simply because it is not the wide-open world of Facebook We don’t expect kids to learn how to drive by keeping them on a bumper-padded closed course either? Instead, we take them into the real world and navigate it with them, we need to do that with Facebook. Facebook comes with such immense responsibility; why are we skirting ours when it comes to teaching safety?