Saturday, May 3, 2008

MySpace Musings

I am again happily staying at home and grading work from my MLS students. As always, I learn from them as I go through submissions. I am going to make a few comments and also share sites as I progress. One thing students were required to do was explore MySpace. Comments below are my musings on their findings.
  • One student just shared that, in the process of looking at MySpace for an assignment, she found some pages that belonged to her own 4th & 5th grade students, who were obviously lying about their ages and also were giving out private information. So she presented a general lesson on netiquette and online safety and, without singling out students, discussed safety and privacy. She got positive feedback from both students and parents. Now here is where I want to rant...naturally due to filters she had to do this search at home. What on earth is the sense of blocking librarians, counselors, principals and other professionals from getting to any site immediately from their offices or schools? EVERY SCHOOL SHOULD HAVE IMMEDIATE FILTER OVERRIDE POWER ON CAMPUS, vested in several people. This bit about blocking access to everyone is DANGEROUS instead of enhancing safety.
  • About MySpace--I am not saying that we should open it for general school use, but rather that all educators should know about it and be acquainted with its strengths and weaknesses. Not allowing educators to gain access to any website they need to see goes beyond paternalism and into the realm of insult. The assignment my students did (working from home of course) called upon them to find one inappropriate MySpace site, and one "good" site. More than anything I wanted them to explore this environment and see its possibilities rather than just have opinions based of media hype. Most of my students admit they have never even visited MySpace or FaceBook before.
  • Here is a very good MySpace page from Florida, Ask a Librarian:
  • Here is another great library MySpace, from Denver Public Library:


  1. This was a great assignment to give your students on a variety of levels. So many adults have polarized views on MySpace. It's not all good or all bad or even all just in between. Your students had an opportunity to learn for themselves.

    I'd be curious to learn about the good sites they found. I know my friend has a MySpace to promote music he has written. He never would have had this opportunity ten or more years ago.

    I've also seen MySpace pages by teen book authors, but I can't remember the sites I saw at the moment.

    It was a great teachable moment for those with youngsters from their class with MySpace pages. I'm sure they were surprised at first, but it looks like it led to good conversations within their classes.

  2. Many of the easy to find "good" sites are library sites that can be found by searching for "library" in MySpace.