Yesterday I was interviewed by an assessor who was looking at the use of ICT in my children’s school.
For those of you yet to embrace this code it means “Information and Communication Technology” and we were talking about all sorts of stuff – the development of the ‘tech’ that the children have access to, keeping up with that ‘tech’ in a home and school environment, the way my children see “ICT” as a positive (well ignoring the fights over who’s going to go on which website first) and how fantastic it is that the school integrates technology into pretty much every aspect of their teaching and learning experiences.
Then she moved onto asking us about e-safety. I’m fortunate in that the Cheetah Keeper’s sister comes home and is happy to give me a fairly detailed account of everything that they’ve learnt or done that day – sometimes slightly too detailed but I remain delighted in the fact she wants to tell me, as opposed to signing the ‘code of silence’ that most children adhere to from the minute they go to pre-school.
This term in their ICT lessons they’ve been learning about staying safe online – about how not to put your surname on any websites and checking with your parents before navigating away from a site that they’ve said you can go on. Awesome (although explaining that I have to put my surname on online payments/orders was a tad tricky). They’ve also been learning about sending emails; not just the principles of putting a name in the ‘to’ box as an email address and clicking ‘send but also remembering that you need to be polite, and use words properly.
Over the last week or so there’s been a fair amount of discussion in the blogs that I read about how people treat each other. Mammasaurus, I Want My Mummy, BritMums, The Mummy Whisperer, Who’s the Mummy and Rosie Scribble have all written about it (so far) and there are comments pinging around faster than the biscuit packets can be opened. It’s now part of the curriculum for the under 7’s to learn the very basics of how we relate to each other online – goodness me, do we really need a revolution, or a learning outcome or instructions on how to behave in a civil manner? Apparently so. That’s not one saying we need to be a great loved up bunch of folk who agree on absolutely everything – just ones that can act in a way (especially from the comfort of hiding behind our laptops) that is respectful, fair and appreciative that we all have different views and opinions.
Back in the Autumn I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar for work, that was run by Prof. Roger Steare – all about ethics, corporate responsibility and how they can relate to international trade. Whilst to some this sounds possibly the dreariest subject in the world, ever, to me this was a chance to rekindle my love of the study of business ethics inspired by Polly who (when she’s not teaching ethics, sales, marketing and other business skills) blogs over at JournalRead.
I loved the seminar. I bought the book. It’s my reading material when *ahem* watching my children doing their gym class. I talk about it (probably too much) at meetings. I try and use it to make judgements in my home and working life – to assess what the values I live by really are.
It fascinates me – his research, the way in which we behave and the way the society leads us to act in certain ways – how old we are, what we do for a living, what we’ve learned over time, what society ‘expects of us’ all affect the way we, not to put too finer point on it, ‘are’. How we interact with others, the behaviour choices that we make.
If you visit the ethicability website you can explore your own Moral DNA. In that many of you reading this will be parents (and possibly Stay At Home ones too) I suspect your ethic of care may be on the high side. Go and explore – it’s nothing scary but it may make you think!
In the bloggerspehere, conflicts arise all the time. Opinions differ (and what good reading that makes!), principles and values collide. Throughout the seminar and the book Prof Steare talks about asking the RIGHT questions and personally, I don’t think we need a revolution, I think we need to ask these questions of ourselves before launching into comments, actions or otherwise…
- What are the Rules (laws, regulations, codes of conduct, anything you must or must not do – in blogging this could relate to use of text, intellectual property or images)
- Are we acting with Integrity – what are your principles – do they include things like fairness, courage, discipline, trust, honesty and hope? I love the BritMums “Blogging with Integrity” strapline – their badge on my blog makes me think before I hit publish.
- Who is this Good for?
- Who could we Harm? Do you really need me to explain these two?
- What’s the Truth? There’s a biggie. In some cases the truth is very clear cut, sometimes it isn’t.
Considering how others feel about an issue (as a thought, if it’s been blogged about, the author probably feels quite strongly about the subject!) and thinking about how what you’re doing or writing will make them react is a really good foundation for honest, balanced debate. Writing something that others disagree with is not wrong if you have thought through what you’ve written – not just done something for the sake of the here and now. We all make mistakes – but if they’re honest ones, where’s the issue?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love the blogging community. It makes me sad when people are upset or hurt by other peoples’ actions. To be able to put our thoughts, feelings, creations and experiences onto our blogs is skill that no generation before us has been able to learn or take enjoyment from – let’s continue to celebrate our diversity, open up the debate, comment, share the love and all those good things – remembering along the way that those words, pictures and occasional moments of sheer bonkers-ness are created by people with real emotions and feelings. You don’t have to agree, but think about how you share your opinion.