In today’s issue of The Guardian, it was reported that children across the UK will be required to learn how to use a number of social media platforms as part of the national curriculum in primary education.
Included in their lessons will be blogging, podcasting, wikipedia (and, I assume wikis in general), Twitter and other SM tools. These lessons will be taught in conjunction with “fluency” in Web 2.0 as a medium. (I’ve always said we need to speak media fluently!)
The changes have been proposed by Sir Jim Rose, who was appointed to “give the primary school curriculum a refresh.” I’d love to see this kind of dedication to new technologies and forward-thinking in our schools here in the states. According to my nieces, kids are still taught “typing” in Georgia’s public schools. As if kids haven’t mastered the keyboard by now!
I know some might say our schools are already over-run with web 2.0 tools. I have teacher friends who are losing their minds with kids texting and tweeting all day. But imagine what we could gain from teaching kids how social media can be used to communicate, promote, motivate, mobilize, and learn. If nothing else, we’d see fewer cases like the UK teen fired for her Facebook comment, or the Twitter twit who lost a job before she even started it, if kids understood the total implications of the web. The world has changed, folks. As I always say, keep up or fall back.