Twitter to be taught to ten-year-olds


The UK government announced today that it wants to teach Twitter in primary schools as part of a campaign to make online communication and social media part of the national curriculum. Kids will also be taught to use Wikipedia, how to blog, and proper typing skills alongside traditional handwriting skills.

The plans, which also remove the Victorians and Second World War from the primary syllabus, were going to be launched next month, but leaked early in the Guardian. Analysts and teacher groups have cautiously welcomed the moves, though they wonder why current trends are being given so much weight.

Personally, I’m glad that Wikipedia, blogging and proper keyboard usage are being taught – all of those are, for the moment, here to stay. I’m a little confused, though, as to why Twitter has been singled out. It’s not that revolutionary and, even speaking as a heavy user, it’s current prominence in the news is surely no more than a passing media fad caused by high-profile celebrities joining up. Students should certainly understand online communication, but I’m not convinced Twitter is the best way to show them.

What do you think? Tell us on Twitter – and no, the irony of that isn’t lost on me – @techdigest.

Guardian (via Techcrunch UK)

Thousands of MySpace sex offender "refugees" booted off Facebook


Since last May, Facebook has removed 5,500 registered sex offenders from its social network, many of whom are claimed to be ‘refugees’ from MySpace who themselves have booted 90,000 sex offenders in the last couple of years.

Last year, the Attorney General of the USA forced both sites to implement considerably more stringent safeguards – preventing older users searching profiles of sub-18-year-olds, and finding better ways of age verification.

Facebook relies on using people’s real names, and that helps, but the amount of people I know on Facebook who aren’t using their exact real names makes that reliance rather concerning. There’ll always be sex offenders on the sites, I suppose, and what’s most needed is a bit of common sense, and education, in kids of the dangers.

(via AP and TechCrunch)