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Friday, December 19, 2008

Me thinks you doth protest too much

One of the things I wish the kids DIDN'T think about blogging.

The students have analyzed their stats for their blog and discovered one thing:

"The way that you can be an affective blogger is to say bad things," said Brady on his reflection.

Why does he and others think this?

Well, of all the things they did:  suggest how Google Lively could make money,  Share the 10 things they like about Lively, their letter to Google and many other posts, the ONE thing that garnered the most attention was...

the protest held in Lively.

They got more links, more "press" and more response on that than anything.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate those that wrote about their issue and helped call attention to the issue.

Now, what does that teach them about the real world?  That educators care about the fact that students think is a great teaching tool?  That they really like Lively and find it easy to use?

No, they "reward" them for protesting - they give them notice for that.

 Perhaps the best event we had was today, in private, in our "Stairway to Heaven" where we said goodby to our avatars and jumped into the water and exited - I guess sort of symbolically "killing" our own avatars.

And yet, there will be people more upset at our simulated suicide than the fact that Google is killing these avatars on December 31st.  I mean, how dare we?

So many are upset about today's generation and yet - how much of it is the fault of our own society that notices and rewards "bad" or "loud" behavior and ignores those who quietly call our attention to things we should listen to?

As I've heard a child say in a particularly transparent moment about his homelife, 

"If I'm lonely and feel unnoticed, if I get attention for being bad, at least I don't feel invisible."

Notice the quiet kid in the back or the one who does something good and in 2009, for me, I want to pay special attention to the students - both mine and others who speak their mind.  Reward for good behavior.

I'm not saying it is bad that the kids planned a protest - but that was only about 5% of what they did for the project -- why on earth is that what everyone noticed?  Why did they criticise them for that and not look at the good things they did?  The positive behaviors?

It was a great "sidetrack" - they learned more in a week and a half of blogging than I could have taught in a month. 

And yet, now, I wonder as I wander through these Ning reflections if I really like what society has said to them.
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