wasting bandwidth since 1999

Unexpected Confessions

A story I missed from earlier in the week finds that two of the top junior tennis players in Great Britain have been suspended for “unprofessional behviour and lack of discipline”.

So, why would the Lawn Tennis Association do something like this to a couple of their stars? Officials were tipped to pictures and “confessions” of their “lifestyle of partying, drinking and eating junk food” posted on the social networking site Bebo.

Eating junk food? Wow, that’s harsh. :-)

However, I agree with Scottish Edublogger Ewan McIntosh that this is just one more indicator that we are well past the time to be teaching the “new literacies” of communicating online to all our students.

If a pair of Britain’s young sporting hopefuls can lose all their funding in one fell swoop after doing what millions of other kids do on a daily basis, then what are the consequences for our kids when they reach the world of ‘professionalism’ too?

Social networks aren’t bad, in the same way as a car isn’t a bad thing. But if you don’t know how to drive them then you’re sure to have an accident one day, and you might well bring others down with you.

What’s your Local Authority, Administration or school doing to prevent this happening next week to your students?

As I look around our overly large school district, the answer would seem to be “not much”. The preferred response is to try and block anything students use to communicate out there in the real world.

Maybe something will happen when we finish passing our “internet safety” program through all the bureaucratic layers. That is, if it’s not full of the kind of scare tactics and threats kids often ignore.

school, internet, safety, social network


  1. Miguel GUhlin

    Tell us more about your Internet safety program…

  2. Tim

    I’ve written a little about the process of creating our internet safety program, mostly about how this is an ambiguous directive from the state legislature that leaves it pretty much up to each district to figure out the specifics.

    I’ll be writing more as we go forward.

  3. Dave

    The problem isn’t what people are doing (who did the junk food hurt?), and the problem isn’t that they’re sharing what they’re doing (outside of sharing address/phone/etc). The problem is that some people don’t like what others do, even though it doesn’t affect them, and judge or punish them for it.

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