Friday, January 18, 2008

Protecting the Student

The problem I am struggling with is how to allow the student to be able to have some global recognition, but way of blogs, pod/vod-casting, digital story telling, etc. while still allowing them to remain anonymous. It's not only a concern of mine, it is a big concern of their parents as well.

I see a few different problems that need to be solved. In some cases, the parents simply aren't familiar with some of the technologies that I want to introduce so there needs to be some training for them so they aren't acting out of unfounded fear. There is also the real problem of allowing the students to be online and post from the classroom, and the expectation of what they do at home with it as well.

I know I'll be holding some seminars with the parents to show them the tools, particularly some of the ones that I think they would have fun with at home (such as Storytelling Alice) but also some of the benefits of using the tools. Along with that, I will talk with them about how the students may use these tools at home.

The solution I've come up with for the anonymity situation is to have the students create identities for themselves. These alter-egos would be characters that they create, complete with nicknames, avatars, hobbies and a general backstory. Each time they are online, they will assume that identity. For example, one of my students designed an avatar that has a donut as the face, that character's name is D. Nut.

Some of this came out of the "DownsFM" podcast, I'm taking what they have for DJ names and tweeking it slightly. Although, their first venture will be a podcast, so I may just keep the "DJ" in front of it for now.

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