Instant Messaging in Education

I orginially wrote two responses to two class prompts on this topic, but I have elected to omit the first response from this blog because my examples were very specific to my workplace. Still here is the second response, and some good questions to consider… and frankly, in the context of this blog, I should go ahead and offer answers to these questions… but it is midnight. ;)

Pretending to be your colleague who resists the integration of technology, ask three tough questions to those who have adopted technology for teaching and learning.

I suppose I’ll continue in the same vein that I started with the last post. I’ll focus on Instant Messaging from the perspective of a fictional resistant colleague.

Even presuming that having access to Instant Messaging is useful for students (and staff), then…

1.) How do we ensure that students (and teachers) are able to manage interruptions with efficiency and etiquette?

2.) How do we ensure that Instant Messaging when in the presence of others does not give the impression that students (and teachers) are not being attentive, or not being productive? And, how do we help students (and teachers) to be attentive and to be productive while managing Instant Messages?

3.) How do we ensure that students (and staff) learn to manage Instant Messages in a way such that they are not distracted from their work, and such that they are safe from predators and other harm?

Now, these I think are actually valid questions, concerns, and, ultimately, challenges. Still, I’d love to start by explaining how the benefits might outweigh the potential pitfalls (and how we might teach people to take advantage of those benefits), and then I’d like to tackle the answers to these questions above.


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