One of my colleagues at IPS, math teacher, Graeme Campbell, made some revisions to the permissions diagram. I like the distinction he makes between the how students at various grade levels might “effectively use” and “safely use” the web. You can read his explanation in the comments on my “How Permissive Are You?” post.
I especially welcome the practical view Graeme takes in all our discussions at IPS–he’s a terrific addition to our staff. For example, he asks how effectively do students use a school’s (non-fiction) library? His answer, as he shows in the diagram, is not very effectively until Grade 10. In a sense, he means this the other way around: a school’s non-fiction library doesn’t serve most students very well given the sorts of questions we ask most students–I think that’s an important qualification. Students can find more up-to-date answers, more efficiently on the web, Graeme says, and I think he’s right. He also points out that from K-10, students are not developmentally capable of making the sort of analysis that requires in-depth reading and cross-examination of many sources, and neither have been taught to do so. Now don’t get him wrong. Graeme would be the last sort of person to get rid of books. But I do love that he’s unafraid to ask awkward questions and challenge (my) long-standing assumptions.