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Robert and Carole Hart-Fletcher were invited by the Family Online Safety Institute to write about their experience with social learning communities:
Carole writes, "We’ve come a long way in our journey into educational social networking and we’ve learned a great deal (mostly from the children) but we’ve really only just begun."
Online social learning is no longer a bright new invention for early adopting heroes. It’s a mature approach to learning and technology with proven value, and central to education.
To enable our children around the world to communicate safely in a rich and rewarding online environment we offer our experience and understanding of social networking to many groups around the world, through consultancy and customized development.
You can exhort children to behave safely. Tell them the rules and why they need them for their protection and what they will lose if they break them. For some children that’s as effective as the warning on a pack of cigarettes that says “Smoking Kills”.
We’ve found that children need to learn experientially and to be rewarded for what you want them to do far more than they are sanctioned for what you don’t want them to do.