Changes to British Education to Include Twitter?

My buddy Rodd started me off on yesterday’s tangent when he sent this link to Twitter.

It was an interesting read and those that teach know that the best way to teach students any concept so I immediately thought about Twitter’s terms of service.

Image via CrunchBase

Basic Terms

  1. You must be 13 years or older to use this site.

If you’re new to the concept of Twitter, they do describe their service here.  Of course, few people actually read terms of use or terms of service.  Think of the last time that you installed software on your computer or joined a web service.  Undoubtedly, you would have had to agree to a particular set of terms.  Did you fully read the legal terms or did you just click the check box and move on?

Later that day, presumably in respond to my reply to Rodd, I had new folks send me the following additional references.

This excerpt of a proposed revision to the British curriculum reportedly including plans to remove some of the traditional learning and replace it with future thinking and working in future ICT environments.  I can’t believe that Twitter is the only reference in there; it’s probably just one of the more controversial ones highlighed to draw readership.  All that you have to do is check out the “related stories” to understand that not all Twitter stories are warm and fuzzy.

The movement towards ICT literacy is to be applauded.  Current curriculum is obsessed with maintaining studies of outdated notions and concepts.  With ubiquitous computing becoming a reality, it is time for all education systems to think about the content.  Is education becoming increasingly irrelevant as we continue to have lower level activities everywhere?  What does memorizing facts really mean when you can reference them online at any point?

We talk about writing for an audience – but is taking home a pen and pencil or word processed document for mom and dad and the family really an inspirational audience?  Wouldn’t it be better to be writing persuasive text, posting it to a blog or wiki and inviting the world to comment and collaborate?

There are lots of sides to a move of this type and we mustn’t overlook student safety and online conduct.  But, right now, while we block Twitter and other networking resources, students are learning how to be online citizens by themselves or with their friends out of school.  If you’re using these resources yourself, you understand the scope and reach possible.  Shouldn’t this be part of everyone’s formal instead of their ad hoc education?

Stay tuned – this will be a very interesting read when it’s released.

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