Great article by Julie Lindsey and Vicki Davis about working with students in the digital environment, the opportunities it presents for customization, and the requirements it places on teachers to monitor, develop student understanding of the process, and support students in engaging with others.
Monitor and be engaged. Using an educational network to support learning in a classroom is not the same as using a social network to connect with friends and family. We stress to our students and to the participants in our Flat Classroom projects that an educational network is a professional group of people coming together for the purpose of sharing experiences in a focused and monitored environment (see "Flat Classroom Projects"). All students and teachers should conduct themselves in a professional and culturally sensitive manner. This includes the types of avatars they choose, the styles of language they use, and the quality of material they upload.
Sometimes participants slip into a social-network mode of communicating. They may use textspeak or even inappropriate language, or they might upload pictures that are not acceptable in all global classrooms. This is where teachers must monitor in an engaged manner.