Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's All Just a Click Away

With just a click anyone can access, search, find, reach, look, view, contribute, collaborate, connect, communicate, comment, debate, blog, post, tweet, agree, disagree, read, review, research, create, shop, browse, buy, enjoy, interpret, learn, inquire, explore, change, discover, and . . . and . . . and . . .

Not only is everything a click away but over a billion people are also a click away. According to Internet World Stats, in December 2000 there were 360,955,492 Internet users world wide and as of March 31, 2009 the number was 1,596,270,108. That is an increase of over 300% in just 9 years. It is also over 23% of the total world population. So when you click the post button on your blog or social network your potential audience is over a billion. That number makes my head spin.

So - What makes the internet so powerful? I believe that the power of the internet comes from the activities it facilitates, the audience it reaches, and the people who choose to be active participants.

For all of the good things that the web facilitates we all know that there are just as many bad things that it also facilitates. There are times that the power of the internet can be harsh, as pointed out in Belloney's Blog post The Power of the Web. There are people that have to live with how devastating just one click can be.

Now the question is: How do we make sure that we teach our students to use their clicks to take advantage of the power of the web in a safe, positive, responsible, and productive way and not in a harmful, negative, and destructive way?

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