New Beginnings

Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc

Hello and welcome to our new class blog. As the year goes on, you will find growing records of our class projects and passions building up in this window into our world.

It is still summer here in the Southern Hemisphere and we have had some very hot days along with some days of welcome rain. Quite often you will hear our state, Tasmania, described as a place where you can experience four seasons in one day.

On January the 4th we had record temperatures in many parts of our state and this led to parts of the south-east and other areas of the state witnessing the destructive force of Mother Nature via bushfires. Many homes were lost, fencing and infrastructure was damaged, and one school at Dunalley was burnt down.

It was frightening for lots of people. Many others, who were safe and sound, were eager to assist and the internet provided several ways to organise this help. In comparison, help would have been organised  quite differently during the destructive fires that devastated Hobart in 1967. In some ways information was easier to find in 2013 but in others ways it was harder to find out what was true. How do we verify the information we find online?

This very positive use of social media contrasts with many of the bad stories told in the mass media about social media and the negative influence of the internet on children. The internet and social media have been blamed for children spending more time in front of screens and not socialising in ‘real life’. However, the bushfire event shows that some positive effects in ‘real life’ can come from interactions with social media over the internet.

What do you think? Is the internet too dangerous for children to have access? Can we say “the internet is bad” or the internet is good”? Please leave a comment on our post with your thoughts about this often discussed issue.