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Teachable Moment

I’d guess that just about every candidate for public office in this country has established a web site to support his or her campaign.

But should we allow a 5th grader running for president of the student association to do the same thing?

It’s a question that came up this week and, while I haven’t heard whether the principal will allow the young man to use his URL on campaign posters, this situation sounds like a wonderful teachable moment.

A terrific opportunity for teachers to help not only that student but the rest of the school, learn some lessons about how to constructively use the web.

5 Comments

  1. Jenny

    This is amazing. I’m so impressed by the idea of a fifth grader doing this. Wow.

  2. Scott S. Floyd

    Absolutely let the student do this. Outline what is appropriate for the site (since it will be needed when everyone else makes a site the next year) and congratulate him on thinking in such a global manner. This is the kind of outside the box thinking our younger kids need to be doing.

    While we are not talking groundbreaking in the marketing in general, it is for this young man, and the student will be learning some valuable skills in web presence and hopefully basic HTML. Stager would be proud if there is some programming involved. More power to this kid. (I do mean kid. If his mom or dad will do all the work on the site, then forget it. Stick to the crappy posters on the wall since it will at least be done by the student.)

  3. Betty

    I agree with you. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with having a tech savvy president.

  4. Tim

    Scott, although I suspect the domain name was purchased by the parents, the site itself very much looks like it was done by a 5th grader (that’s not a criticism!).

    You’re right that a campaign web site is nothing groundbreaking in a general sense, but for an elementary school staff, it’s certainly unique in 2008. Next year, we’ll probably have kids putting their MySpace account (or Club Penguin) on those posters.

  5. Scott McLeod

    Yes, absolutely! Could you block him even if you wanted to? What would be the reasonable restriction on student speech that the district would cite in favor of its decision not to allow it?

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