Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Knowledge is Better than FUD (not just in the online world)

Kevin has a post up about trust and openness online for students. I've left a comment awaiting moderation; my comment below — and here is Kevin's post, very much worth reading:
When Trust Gets Breached, Repairs May Be Impossible

An important issue, and the biggest problem I see is the way Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt keeps people from even exploring solutions at my school. The way I address this important issue is to use tools that the students control, making sure they know how to choose the options they want. Do they want their name, or a pseudonym, or no name at all to appear on their blog and on their project website? Do they want to use a personal photo or some kind of other image instead? (I always use an animal avatar so they know it is totally fine with me not to use a personal photo.) Do they want to leave their work online after the class is over or delete it? By using tools where the students are in control of all those important decisions, and by knowing how how to use those tools (I make sure to provide tutorials on all these options), it's not so much about trusting me or not (I want them to trust me but, hey, they only know me insofar as I am their teacher for one class) ... instead, I want them to understand how to use the tools they have, making good choices and also thinking about the choices they make for tools that have nothing to do with class.

Choosing the right tools.
Teaching how to use the tools.
Encouraging the students to trust themselves.
Spreading knowledge, not FUD.

That's how I see my role.

Since my only teaching experience in the Internet age is with college students, I don't know how far that can generalize in K-12.

And... I am pleased to note... well over 95% of my students choose to leave their class project online after the class is over (sometimes with their name on it, sometimes not), for which I am very grateful!


  1. I posted this recently:
    Security theatre is very close to FUD sometimes...

  2. Thanks, Paul - I had not seen this! And, as your phrase "iterate" shows, there is a cost to demanding your rights, even if you do succeed, and that cost is TIME. Just imagine if, in addition to all the cost costs of the security theater that runs every day in airport theaters all around the world, billions and billions of dollars, we factored in also all the cost of time taken from the audience (the unwilling audience), and even more time taken from people who iteratively request their rights. As always, we should ask: CUI BONO?
    As for the LMS theater, time wasted, etc., the same question still applies of course: CUI BONO?


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