This is Part 2 of my discussion with 5th graders about MySpace and Facebook. Part 3, coming soon, will focus on questions related to what their parents know about their online networking. Here's Part 1. In this part of the discussion, I get into asking students about their online friends.

Here's the transcript from a chat I had with the studnets - I do think the answers are rather interesting.

ME:
Do you have "friends" on MySpace or Facebook that you've NEVER met in person?

CASSIDY:
no!
HAYDEN:
yes
ZOE:
yes
JOSHUA:
no
HMN Generic Grade K:
yes
KAILEY:
yes
DANIEL:
no
CASSIDY:
NO
CHACE:
no
MARC:
yes
LYRIC:
yes
DANIELLE:
no i only put people on if i know them
KOBY:
yes
BRIAN:
only 1 person
KENNETH:
No way!

The answers here surprised me a little. I didn't really have to time to ask deep questions about these friends, but I did follow up with a couple of questions and I was pretty surprised at the answers.

ME:
Okay, for those of you who just answered yes - how do you know who they are?

BRIAN:
thare pictures
MARC:
i dont
DANIELLE:
from school
KAILEY:
idk
KOBY:
there my family and friends
HMN Generic Grade K:
because of there pic
SHAWN:
i know them

ME:
So you believe the pictures they have posted are real?

BRIAN:
idk
DANIELLE:
idk
DAMIAN:
yes
ME:
That those pictures are really them?

ZOE:
idk
HAYDEN:
no
HMN Generic Grade K:
yes
KOBY:
yes
LYRIC:
idk
KAILEY:
idk
HMN Generic Grade K:
no
DANIELLE:
no
DANIELLE:
idk
MARC:
yes
CHACE:
yyeeess

I'm not sure they were ready for my follow up questions about the pictures. I have a feeling it make them think about it more than they had in the past. I did notice that none of the students mentioned anything other pictures. I don't think it's bad to start with pictures, but certainly it shouldn't be the only thing. When I started connecting with people online, pictures played an important part, but more importantly, I checked out their blog, or the other people they were connected to. I'm not sure that's something 12 years old are thinking about, but perhaps it should be.

Here's the last questions - and I'm happy to say that most of the students answered this question with the answer I was hoping for. I should have followed this up by asking how they could gain someone's trust online. I'd be curious to see what they would say.

ME:
Do you trust people you meet online?

HAYDEN:
no
JOHNNY:
yes
ALEXANDRA:
some time
DANIEL:
no
KAILEY:
no
DANIELLE:
no
CASSIDY:
maybe maybe not
MELISSA:
sometimes it depends
ZOE:
sometimes
LYRIC:
NO!!!!
MARIA:
NO
SHAWN:
some times
CHACE:
nooo
CASSIDY:
kinda /yes but no.
JOSHUA:
no
KOBY:
yes and no
BRIAN:
sometimes
HMN Generic Grade K:
hell no
KENNETH:
NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HMN Generic Grade K:
yes
SERENA:
not really


So, tell me what you think about this conversation?

3 comments

  1. mrstg // June 18, 2009 at 10:01 AM  

    This just really hits home with me. We NEED to be teaching kids about social media!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. gail // June 18, 2009 at 11:05 AM  

    It's up to me to start addressing this better at school. Can't put it off any longer.....

  3. World Famous // January 27, 2012 at 4:57 AM  

    This discussion is very nicely written between MySpace and Facebook.
    Just say this is a Great post.
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