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Saturday, March 04, 2006

You're Different . . . and That's Bad.

In her presentation on Thursday, Amy talked about teen blogs and specifically mentioned the efforts of some private schools to prohibit the academic or personal use of blogs. But,
“Going to school does not make a person educated, any more than going to a
garage makes a person a car." - Unknown
Similarly, Mark Twain said:
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain
The point is not to question the value of school. But, educators must acknowledge that life is full of teachers outside of the four school walls. How individual do we expect children to be who are all taught the same thing in an environment where they feel the constant pressure to conform or be ostracized by peers?

The internet, blogs, allow children the freedom of movement from the safety of their own home. If we embrace blogging as a form of expression for children and focus on educating them on safety issues, we allow them to access the world at their firngertips, to foster their ideas and to learn from others.

We tell children to appreciate and be tolerant of diversity. But, in actions, we (as society) condemn the exploration and expression of variant ideas. If we fear the internet because we don't understand it, we suffer. Why can we not make an effort to learn about blogging and teach kids how to use it, but use it safely? Perhaps if we allowed children to use the internet to explore their interests and talents and to connect with others like themselves, we would see greater self-confidence and more well-defined sense of identity among kids.

Crossposted at Look to the Sky

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