RECAP, Day 1

Today was the first day of RECAP 2007, the annual educational technology conference at West Chester University. I was the moderator of a student panel this morning where we discussed student use of social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace. The students gave us some fascinating insights into the role of online social networking in the lives of young people today.

Many of the students mentioned that they were planning on closing their MySpace accounts after they graduate, presumably because of privacy concerns. There was some concern expressed by the students that potential employers might get a bad impression of them if they looked at their MySpace and Facebook pages. In general, Facebook seemed to have a better acceptance among the college crowd than does MySpace, which some of the students said was more popular with the “high school crowd.” Facebook also was praised for having better privacy options, although none of the social networking sites are immune from abuse by determined individuals.

In addition to the discussion with the students, we were treated to a presentation of some of the student-produced video public service announcements that were made by students in Chris Penny’s educational media class at West Chester University. The videos highlighted the dangers of online social networking, and the growing privacy concerns of students when their activity is viewed by those outside their intended networks. Most of the videos can be seen online; below is one of the better ones…

Following the panel, I attended a session on “Free Web Tools for the Classroom” by Michele Mislevy and Karen Jogan of Albright University. They provided quite a few links to online resources of value to educators, some of which I had not heard of before. Here are some of the links…

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