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Page history last edited by Wesley Fryer 15 years ago

FEAR - I don't understand it so I oppose it

Times of change are often times of fear. People don't like to change. No one likes their "cheese" to move. Yet we are living in times of rapid, discontinuous change. Some fear is a result of ignorance, but fear is also rooted in a desire to remain in a more static, known, and comfortable environment. It is easier (in many cases) to metaphorically put one's head in the sand rather than learn to surf a new wave.


How do some school administrators invoke FEAR concerns to block web 2.0 sites?

Some school administrators cite FEAR (directly or indirectly) as the reason interactive websites and software tools are blocked and not permitted on district computers and networks. Internet predators are lurking everywhere on the Internet. Students just use websites like YouTube to watch and post schoolyard fight videos. Mandated testing doesn't require the use of digital resources, so why should schools change and embrace them? So much is unknown, it is just better to strive to maintain the status quo rather than embrace nebulous and messy alternatives involving digital technologies. 


What is the Takeaway Here?

We need to help all members of our communities face and overcome fears when it comes to discontinuous changes, including those relating to technologies. How are community members seeing and understanding the humanizing, constructive roles technology is and can play in our lives? Perhaps students in your community need to engage in digital storytelling projects which showcase and highlight the accomplishments of different members of the local community, and then show those videos at local service club meetings as well as the school board meeting? We've got to find ways to help all educational constitutents better understand the benefits as well as the risks of using digital technologies in balanced conversations not driven by Frontline specials or Oprah.


Additional Resources Relating to FEAR


  1. Celebrate Oklahoma Voices. A statewide digital storytelling project empowering learners to become digital witnesses, archiving local oral history and sharing that history safely on the global stage of the Internet 
  2. "The Future and Its Enemies" by Virginia Postrel. 1998. (Official website)


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Comments (2)

kessdack@gmail.com said

at 10:16 am on Mar 27, 2009

I believe that one of the solutions to the fear road block is to articulate the opposing condition of creating a generation of learners who are illiterate in their own time. When I speak to parents, students and educators, I spend time communicating that kids will spend the rest of their lives in the future and to get them ready we MUST play on those digital playgrounds. How are we to mentor and teach learners to use technologies responsibly if we do not use them at all?

eric_hileman@... said

at 8:19 am on Mar 30, 2009

Something to consider, but I think that filtering companies perpetuate the myths that web 2.0 sites are inherently evil. I also think they are making educational decisions with regard to what is and isn't appropriate to instructional leaders.

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