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The other day I was asked by someone why I think we should use Social Technologies especially in light of the permanence of information entered online. Here are a couple of my reasons:

- We are in the 21st century where information has exploded and is growing exponentially. This is a reality and is no longer debatable. We are all facing the dilemma of managing all the information that is created and received every day. There is a huge growth in the intellectual and academic information available on the web for anyone to access. We all want to read the current news, blogposts, etc. We all want to hear about new ideas that we can explore in the classroom. Social technologies are probably the most important tool that will allow us to organize this information for ourselves both personally and professionally.

- Being ‘invisible’ behind a wall in the 21st century is not smart. The challenge is becoming visible while keeping oneself safe. Personally I kept myself very invisible up until a few years back. Colleagues taught me ways to leverage the web for learning and sharing.

The issues raised about privacy are legit. It’s important to be aware of the issues and solutions instead of closing oneself from the world. There are several resources that are available to educate ourselves and others. One is Common Sense Media – a site that provides guidance to educators and parents on use of media. The guidelines they share are good. They may sometimes be a little too alarmist in their writing. A school can use their guidelines to create a version for their community. One of the recent articles on the site is worth a read — Making the Case for Teaching with Social Media.

Another resource I want to share with you are Social Technology Guidelines that our school (American School of Bombay) has developed. A Social Tech Team made up of staff and parents created this draft with the assistance ofScott Klososky to help guide all members of our community – students, parents, and staff. We use and integrate social technologies in many areas of our school work as well as in our personal lives. And our parent community is also becoming very active in the use of social technologies.

What do you think about the use of social technologies? Are there other guidelines and tools that work for you?

author credits

ABOUT THE ENTREPRENEUR
Educator, Consultant, Presenter DR. SHABBI LUTHRA is empowering educators, students, & parents, & building powerful 21st century learning environments. She is currently the Director of Research & Development, at the American School of Bombay.

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