Sunday, January 22, 2006

Social Software

What is Frappr?
Frappr is an online tool that lets you map out the city where you live, work, vacation, or anything else! You can then share your unique URL with friends and find out where the rest of them live and work in relation to everyone else. It's great for keeping in touch with friends, families, and groups! You can also share photos, private message them, or leave comments on their MyFrappr homepage.
Could be heading down a road I do not want to travel, goes! This social software seems to have features that could be interesting to try in my classroom. After reading about how a teacher in a nearby school district got into trouble. Seems a someone, posted on his MySpaces blog, what was described as a lewd photo (probably 'photoshopped'). A parent printed out the photo and took it to the adminstration of the school. Lesson learned, teachers may not necessarily want to have a page that can is not password protected. How does Frappr protect teachers from the possiblity of vandalism? I am not sure. I have read the statement below on their site:

How public are these Frapprs?
If you don't enable the "Add to Frappr's Public Directory" checkbox, the Frappr doesn't show up in "Browse Other Groups" and it isn't searchable. No one can view the map unless they know the url or Frappr name, or they happen to browse across one in someone's MyFrappr homepage.
Our Frappr class group is not included in Frappr's Public Directory so unless the students know the url or Frappr name.

So, first step: Teach students the ethical use of these shared photo social software. A question is where do teachers find resources to use with this "lesson"? This is a problem with being on the 'bleeding-edge' of technology. Maybe I should just keep images on a harddrive or burn them on a CD.

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