In a recent post I shared the news of Atif, my student, being on the BBC 'Click' TV program talking about social networking. Since then, Atif agreed to upload his full 1.30 minute video to Google and has embedded it on our class wiki.
I recommend you take 2 minutes to view this young man and listen to his thoughts on social networking. He talks about the ability to be connected to the rest of the world through the learning environment blogging software called ELGG. He talks about not being alone and how he values online friendships as much as offline ones. He talks about living in a country such as Bangladesh where the political instability often makes travel difficult and how online communication provides vital social and academic resources.
Atif concludes his brief but eloquent presentation with:
"Nowadays everyone meets people online and it's not that dangerous, especially in Bangladesh since people we communicate with are mostly from foreign countries."
I hope you join me in appreciating Atif's realistic appraisal of the everyday use of online social networking tools, ELGG in particular. This is from the mouth of a digital native, a 'baby' of the 21st century, an international student/citizen with an honest and inclusive outlook.
As educators we can all learn something from this. We can learn to look for and promote the positive uses of emerging technologies. We can learn to persevere with their integration into everyday learning. We can learn about what it means to be an international person in a shrinking world. These are valuable lessons. Thank you Atif for being our teacher.
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