Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Social networking

Following close on the heels of the Byron Review report, Ofcom have published a report today on the use of social networking sites such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace. I haven’t had time to read it but on a first skim-through, I noted their categorisation of the non-use of these kinds of social network sites. They suggest that there are three categories of/ reasons for non-participation – (i) people concerned about online safety, (ii) the technically inexperienced or (iii) intellectual rejecters who think they are a waste of time. I think there is a fourth category/ reason they have omitted here – people, like myself, who think social networks are of interest and can serve useful functions, but who have decided that they do not wish to use them because their own networking needs are met in other ways and spaces such as Facebook are just surplus to needs. I know I am not alone – Guy discusses this on his blog. Maybe they didn’t talk to people who strategically choose not to participate in such spaces. Not being interested in them personally doesn’t mean to say that I think they are of little value to educationalists, however and here Julia offers a number of reasons for using social networking sites in schools. Let's hope voices such as Julia's get listened to in the flurry of moral panics that appear to be proliferating around children and social networking.

1 comment:

Nick Haigh said...

Hi Jackie, interesting point about may be people strategically don't look at social networking sites. Also, interesting link to Julia's post, on reasons for not banning access, must have missed that one.