Kinderchat Reflection

I usually will not enter into discussions that feature a #chathashtag…..because of which I have shared here:  http://projectsbyjen.com/blog/?p=1637 — that is my choice, that is my preference.

But last night, while zipping through the chat stream….I saw a tweet about using twitter and facebook in elementary and I just had to add my two cents.   (from the http://twitter.com/#search?q=kinderchat stream)

I tweeted out:

I would take my K’s to voicethread and skype WAY
before I would take them to FB or Twitter. IMHO #kinderchat

and began waiting patiently for a response, because I knew there would be one.

What I did not expect was the avalanche of conversation that began to flood my twitter feed and my DM box.  Some quite heated and angry.

When questioned professionally about my thoughts I responded with

@cybraryman1 thank you. One reason is that in NO WAY
would I have to even answer any questions of violation of TOS. #kinderchat

And THAT 100% filters my decision of why I will NEVER use twitter or facebook in an elementary classroom.

Twitter says:  Our Services are not directed to people under 13.
https://twitter.com/privacy
For me, that is enough said.
Now you might feel comfortable in interpreting that as you wish to make it work within your classroom.  That is your prerogative and your options.  I, myself, choose never to have to get involved in that argument if ever challenged for using that tool.   Too many other battles to fight and other good options available.   So, for young children, I walk away from twitter.

Facebook says:  You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
http://www.facebook.com/terms.php
and again, you can justify this to work as you wish.
For me, and for my classroom — I choose to walk away from this option.

I was asked what method of communication I would use and my response was:

@Matt_Gomez with Kindergarten?? I would use a blog for my communication. For communication with others….VT or Skype. #kinderchat

I should have qualified that with ED.VoiceThread….btw.

I continued to think of this conversation throughout the night…..both of the graciousness of many who allowed a discussion of differing thoughts but also the realization that at times we do need to stand on a foundation of thoughts, beliefs, and — dare I say it — policy!!   (And not a personal policy but a school policy. )

What I would wish for in my kindergarten classroom would never include a social media presence.   They are still working on social skills within the classroom, playground, and with their peers.  There is time later to be introduced to social media…..I would concentrate much more on social interaction within the classroom and their cognitive development.

As for myself, the teacher — I would be blogging out to the parents daily.  Lots of pictures and also voice recordings of the students thoughts.    Reflections of daily events, links to help the parents with ideas, and upcoming news would be much of the content.

That is my stand, my foundation, and my thought-pattern.

You are always free to agree or disagree.  I invite your conversation.

Jennifer

5 comments

  1. mrsdurff says:

    Not only is there the age limit thing, but at that age social networking online is just now educationally useful. Sorry all you who disagree. Skype and VT are way more useful. My job is getting teachers to use the tech, not abhor the tech.

  2. Susan says:

    Interesting to see this post. We have a few elementary classrooms using a class account set up by the teacher to keep parents up to date with info from the classroom. Yes, the kids author the tweets (there is a “Tweeter of the Day” and it is big honor to be selected for this job)and they are approved by the teacher before posting occurs. On average they send out 4 messages a day. Only the teacher is able to login to the class account.

    I spent a morning earlier this week observing in one of these classrooms. It was truly an amazing and uplifting experience. These kids are very focused, very savvy with the technology that is available for their use and the growth in their writing skills since they began tweeting is amazing.

    Parents in these classes LOVE it! Now there’s a push by parents in some of the other classrooms in these schools to have access to this same information. It may not be for everyone, but in this school it’s a huge success.

  3. Jill says:

    I am still at the beginner stage of all of this but I completely agree with you. I use Kidblogs and VT with my first graders and plan on using Skype but I would not use Facebook.

  4. Miss NIght says:

    I was part of the #kinderchat that prompted Jen to write this post. I respect her position as it is described, but have chosen to make use of Twitter in my own kindergarten classroom. MrsDuff and Jill, before you dismiss Twitter as inappropriate for little ones, please read about how and why I am using it, here: http://missnightmutters.blogspot.com/. It has proven to be INCREDIBLY “educationally useful,” and meets different needs/goals than blogging, Skype, or VT. Twitter is just another tool I use in my classroom to help expand my students’ worldview. Please do not dismiss a tool (and those who use it well) just because it is not your tool of choice. I made an informed decision to use it, and Jen is making an informed decision not to. Jen – I appreciate your professionalism and courtesy in this conversation. I am sure it will continue!

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