The educational thoughts of Jason Epstein
THE PERSONAL VIEWS, OPINIONS AND COMMENTS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE SOLELY THOSE OF THE BLOG’S AUTHOR IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY, AND ARE NOT ENDORSED BY ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY.
The test, iCritical Thinking Certification, created by the Educational Testing Service and Certiport, reveals whether or not a person is able to combine technical skills with experiences and knowledge. Today’s students need to be able to think critically and effectively solve problems while using technology going beyond simply searching for information. They also must evaluate the legitimacy of the information, put it in context, and then apply problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Formspring.me, has the potential to be more dangerous to students than most other websites I’ve heard of. Just to give you an idea of it’s prevalence, I took a quick poll of my 8th graders. About 1/3 have a Formspring page. About 3/4 know about Formspring.me.
U.S. moms and dads estimate that their children spend only two hours a month on the internet, but kids say they actually spend 10 times more time - or 20 hours - according to a recent study, the first Norton Online Living Report by Symantec (via Marketing Charts). 41% of respondents age 13-17 say their parents have no idea what they do online, and only 33% of parents worldwide say they set parental controls and monitor their children's online activities.
Adults need to be good role models. Politicians need to think about this the next time they consider demonizing (as opposed to criticizing) an opponent. Media personalities and talk show hosts need to think about the messages they're giving to children when they engage in name calling. We all need to be aware of comments we make in the presence of children and even people who comment on blogs need to think about the difference between legitimate criticism and derision. Children learn by observing our behavior, and there are plenty of adults who behave like bullies.
Changing behavior isn't easy, but it's not impossible. I've been watching episodes of the TV show Mad Men, which is set in the 1960s when it was acceptable to smoke around other people, ride in cars without seat belts, leave trash everywhere, make derogatory comments about minorities, and treat women as inferior beings. We haven't yet completely eliminated any of those dangerous or antisocial behaviors, but we've come a long way. With concerted effort and national leadership, we can do the same with bullying.