I’m doing my first briefing to the Maryland state legislature (General Assembly) on Feb 4. I’ll be briefing state policymakers on lessons learned in my research on K-12 online education and learning technologies, and setting policy to better implement these options in the coming years. I’m excited to be able to translate some of the work I’m currently doing to hopefully impact how policymakers think about this topic.
The education world is scrambling to catch up with the implications of today’s ubiquitous, social media environment. We’re familiar with stories about teacher firings and cyber-bullying. The latest dustup has been the recent legislation in Missouri that forbids teachers from having any private interaction with students online. This means no friend-connections on Facebook or private messages between students and teachers. All interaction must occur publicly. Of course, there’s been huge push-back and uproar to this shortsighted policy and many such controversies are sure to come in the education world as we deal with new media. But how can we as education leaders think about these policy issues?