I spoke last week at Creative Connectivity, a conference being organised by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Support Centre, which is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee – on the subject of the risks and opportunities presented by Web 2.0 and social media for e-learning providers.
I was surprised by some of the discussions – college staff are really paranoid about things going wrong, perhaps justifiably, I don’t know. But issues were raised that I just hadn’t occurred to me before. Take online adverts, for example, which I have for a long time accepted as a necessary evil for getting access to great free web tools. But what if a college lecturer advises a student to use a certain website, which happens to have adverts for (say) online dating? Apparently, the college could end up getting a kicking from parents.
As with all discussions about risk, though, the key questions are “So what?” and “What’s the worst that could happen?”. Certainly when it comes to issues around personal data, the latter is most pertinent. I mean, what information is likely to be left on a social network by a student that an identity thief could really make use of? And what use would a 16 year old’s identity be, anyway?
Still, I think there is an opportunity here for someone to put together a closed, safe, ad-free social network for schools and colleges.
Here are the slides that I presented, in case they are of use.
If you would like me to come and have a chat at your organisation or event about any element of social media and web 2.0 tools – whether to communicate, collaborate or educate, do get in touch.