I am still out when it comes to social networking because of the lack of personal experience in the environment. I can, however, comment what is/has happened thus far in our independent school.
Our school has blocked assess to the different social networking possibilities. When the trend started to pick up momentum if was easy to spot the students daily in these type of environments. The parents noticed the amount of time their children was spending on this activity and found it to be an unacceptable use of time. There was a large parental push for the philosophy in the school how this was impacting our their children time and experiences. The Board found it relative to include in the user agreement that any social networking was not appropriate at school.
Even though the school has filtered the IP addresses it is interesting to see how many students have found a way around this obstruction. The students did try to move politically in changing this stance through their student representatives but to no avail. The stated situation is still being enforced.
• Members of a social space may search for other members who share similar interest and are located near them.
• Different geographic locations make it easier to communicate.
• Easy to send and receive messages to one another on the site itself.
• Members may also become part of special interest groups with the larger social space
Too there were many views that erred caution:
• Posting too much information that may have serious repercussions.
• Teen Decision-making
• Lack of Parental Attention
• Dangerous Strangers Online
Living in an international environment has many stakeholders in the school to take the caution route. There are many individuals who are attached to embassies, government, and high-level corporations. To compound that posture the general public in Europe has changed their view of Americans and other foreigners living in their country.
My vote is still out on using this type of environment but too we have access to other possibilities to use in the classroom that simulates social networking.