Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cyber Safety in the Age of Aquarius

Last night I attended a Second Life education event billed as the Digital Age of Aquarius. It was a 60's style presentation by Kevin Honeycutt (In-world:Kevinski Braveheart) It was sponsored by ISTE on Hippy Island , a fun place to explore and find hidden professional development resources.

I've been on SL for two years, but consider myself a newbie, because I never got into building or costumes. I just walked around in my standard jeans and t-shirt, which is probably more like real life than Second Life for me.

For this event you were encouraged to dress in 60's style. Fortunately, I was using the new client which offers a variety of optional clothing choices. There really wasn't anything 60's in the choices, but in the 60's I was a huge Peter, Paul, and Mary fan and my kids were raise on me playing Puff the Magic Dragon on the guitar. So I figured this choice was very dragonish, and it was as close as I would get to a 60's costume.

If you have never seen or heard Kevin before, you have to make it a point. If we could clone him, our education system would soar. His presentation was all about empowering teachers and children to use Web 2.0. Not only does he make a case for breaking down the firewalls, he does it well, by providing powerful examples of students making a difference in the world. He shows how to model and teach good cyber citizenship even if you are behind a firewall that prevents it. There are analog ways of teaching students digital skill, such as using a bulletin board, paper and pencil to simulate Twitter in the classroom. He offers good solid suggestions for professional development that empowers teachers to become digital leaders, and he even writes songs about it.

Archimedes said, "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." On his site, Kevin says, "I am a veteran teacher and a current educational technology specialist who gets up every day on a mission to help educators improve education by leveraging 21st century tools!"

First, listen to an audio file of his presentation and then visit his website. If it's a fulcrum, we can all be part of the lever that helps move the education world in the right direction.

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