Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Finding The Right Process

In the uber-connected world within which we live, there has never been a more important time to educate our students around interactions online. Whether it’s commenting on blogs, posting their learning or even replying, it falls to the educators of today to teach the skills of tomorrow (I know, what a cliche!).

For the Twitterers amongst you, student blogs have been populating the Twittersphere via the Ako Hiko Cluster account. Over 500 student and class blogs now automatically tweet out a snapshot of the learning and encourage other members of the global community to engage and share in the learning. So what does this all mean for our students? Quite simply, it means their potential audience could explode in two simple retweets. My own professional account has close to 2,000 followers and I have several online friends with over 10,000. Now imagine what happens if I retweet a student blog and then a high end user does the same. We now have a potential audience of over 12,000 people, in a matter of minutes.

This all means that the online audience for blog posts becomes highly unpredictable and includes people from all walks of life and all corners of society. With the highly developed CyberSmart programme, students personal information is closely guarded and not at risk, however from time to time they may encounter ‘spammers’. The reprehensible process of flooding the comments section of posts, blogs and social media has been around for several years and is an unfortunate part of the digital world. However, this doesn’t mean we cannot be proactive one dealing with the comments.
A recent blog comment from a 'spammer'
Although tricky to see, the above example appeared on a student blog very recently. It is predominantly in Turkish and utterly inappropriate for a student blog, however the good news is that we have the tools and the teaching to act upon it quickly. Each time a comment is posted to the blog, the student and class teacher receive an email. This alerts both the child and an adult to anything being made and shares the responsibility when things like this happen. In this case, the student immediately reported the comment to his class teacher and it was removed.

It has provided an opportunity to remind students and teachers of the process used to report malicious or inappropriate behaviour online and lends a valuable ‘real world’ context for this to happen.

Students within the Ako Hiko schools are very familiar with the processes in place and this term’s focus remains on interacting with others online. It’s a fantastic reminder to all that they’re never alone and a trusted adult or person is a few clicks away.

Blogger has inbuilt automatic spam detection