I'd like to thank Karl Kapp and Tony O'Driscoll for including my blog in the Blog Book Tour for Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration.
As far as broadband goes - things have not got much better since 2007 in most of the rural communities in our country - in many places I would argue access today is worse than it was in September 2007. Important stuff but I'm going to save that post for another day.
Why did I change my mind? I live in South Hadley, Massachusetts, a small New England town where things are typically pretty quiet. On January 14, Phoebe Prince, a fifteen year old ninth grader was found dead in my town - an apparent suicide. She had moved here from Ireland last year with her family and has been described by the parent of a friend as the new girl in school. ... a very pretty girl, very sweet, a smart girl. She had been bullied in school, after school and online.
Unbelievably, the online cyberbullying has continued after her death. On Saturday January 30 (16 days after her death) NBC affiliate WWLP published a story titled Online groups bully Phoebe in death. Here's a couple of quotes from that story:
A recent Facebook group formed in the wake of the student's suicide is raising eyebrows. It's called, "We murdered Phoebe Prince". The latest attack group has classmates seemingly boasting about driving the Irish girl to death earlier this month.
Horrible, hate filled messages continue to plague pages dedicated to the freshman's death. Parents are calling for greater accountability by officials.
You may have caught the story nationally broadcast on Good Morning America January 28. Here's the GMA video - I encourage you to watch all 5 minutes and 41 seconds of it if you have not seen it. Show it to your kids.
Now, back to Karl and Tony's book - I'm a huge online, social media, ubiquitous connectivity, 24/7, crank the bandwidth to 11 advocate. Keeping up with the web and all of its applications and connections is critical for individual success and the long term success of our country. Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook, is referenced in the book suggesting that communication should not be viewed as a way for people to get information. Instead, he proposes that information is a mechanism to foster better communication between people. As students, parents, teachers, coaches, administrators, professors, adults...... it is crucial to remember better communication can be used in both positive and negative ways.
I'll write about rural broadband some other time. Today - Peace to Phoebe, her family, her friends, her enemies and this small New England town.
You can check out the web site for the book Learning in 3D and read Chapter One of Karl and Tony's book to get a sense of what the book is about. You can also become a fan on Learning in 3D's Facebook Page.