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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Kids and Computers - What are we afraid of?

At NECC last month, while I was at a booth, my teenage daughter who attended with me wandered nearby.  A teenager with a rock n roll t-shirt and a laptop in a case slung over her shoulder, she stood near a computer at a booth.  Suddenly an adult ran over to the computer and hurriedly shut it down.  She hadn't touched it - but somehow the "threat" existed for that adult - teen hacker!  How often are our policies guided by such fears?  Hopefully not too often, and hopefully we are working to engage and challenge students with computers and not to only police their activities, but maybe we need to examine our approaches. (Note I posted this story as a comment on Mike Muir's excellent blog as well.)

We used the idea of L.A.R.K. at The Peck School where I worked for the past 5 years - which is also described in my book - we worked to ensure that all use of computers was L - Legal, A - Appropriate, R - Responsible and K - Kind.  Having this acronym as a shortcut yardstick for technology helped keep everyone on track.

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