If we taught our teens to drive the way we teach them about social media

Imagine for a second if we taught our teenagers to drive a car in the same manner we attempt to teach them about social media.

  1. Driving lessons would be taught by adults (teachers or parents) with little or no experience of driving. Sure they may know of certain brands of cars or be aware of some of their capabilities. They may know it is illegal to speed or drive without a seatbelt, but in reality they have spent little time behind the wheel.
  2. Driving lessons would only focus on what not to do. An average driving lesson would entail students being preached to about the dangers of speeding, drinking and driving, or not wearing a seatbelt. There may be a little advise on how to keep you and your car safe – e.g., regular service checks, installing an alarm, and NEVER allowing a stranger to get into your car would all constitute sound advice.
  3. Driving lessons would NEVER take place in an actual car. In fact cars would be banned in the majority of driving schools. So students would be able to take notes, draw pictures, or even present a PowerPoint on how to drive, but they would only be able to put these lessons into practice once they were out of sight of an adult.

Dan Haesler via http://danhaesler.com/2012/10/02/driving-down-social-media-way

17 Responses to “If we taught our teens to drive the way we teach them about social media”

  1. Was that an intentional tee-up for our Digital Driver’s License from UK?


    If not, could have been. I do feel like driving is a really good metaphor for responsible internet use and that students should earn a license of some kind before we turn them loose on it in schools.

  2. It is really interesting that the author chose the topic of teaching driving in relation to teaching social media. Many schools decided some time ago that teaching driving was not a central role of schools.

    It would seem to me that a nation of non-drivers would be a bigger threat to our national prosperity than a nation of clumsy social media adults.

    (OK, in all seriousness, the decision to halt driver education instruction is almost completely a financial one – not a values judgment, but that is the funny thing about using metaphors to make simplistic statements by making those who disagree seem absurd… usually there is a more complicated conversation)

  3. Driver’s education has only been taught in schools for about 30 years* and many are now moving away from providing it, so this is not the best analogy. Sadly, sex ed – which should be a good analogy – is also not taught in many schools and where it is, it’s often done just as the author says not do so.


  4. I love how we teach our children to use power point and excel, but not how to search on the web, and do not allow I Pods or smart phones in the classroom. Makes sense to me?

  5. I think this is a very strong analogy. It would be great if we could take a more active role in our students learning how to use the social media tools out there for them, instead of just throwing them off the deep end. This inevitably leads to them misusing it, such as cyberbullying, instead of fully embracing it to learn.

  6. I think this is a great analogy. No one learns how to drive by constant negative input or by being taught by 12 year olds. It’s important people who are well versed in technology teach kids about social media.

  7. Great analogy… makes perfect sense. Also,I think it’s important to realize that a lot of the problems with social networking are in how you use it.

  8. I couldn’t agree more. If we took the stigma away from technology (eg. no texting in class, no headphones, etc.) maybe there wouldn’t be such a desire for them to do it.

  9. This is incredibly over simplified. Which subjects do we ignore so that we can spend time teaching social media? I am not sure that it is necessarily something which needs to be taught, if students want to use it they will. If they don’t they wont.

  10. Just caught you blog in class and I like the point you are trying to make that even though social media is bringing in new ways to teach certain things like history, science, or even math, BUT there are certain things that just can’t be replaced by technology and social media.

  11. Students at least need someone to guide them in how to properly use social networking sites in an academic context. Without guidance it may be difficult to determine which outlets are accurate, reliable, etc…

  12. This is a great analogy! Social media is becoming very popular in today’s world, and I guess people need to be taught properly how to use it.

  13. I have never looked it at it like that. You bring up some valid points Scott. Most adults have pre-judged social media and are only looking at it one sided. If we can use social media appropriately it can be very powerfull!

  14. Completely agree. This is something that needs to be focused on in schools. To ignore social media and its implications (both positive and negative) is foolish.

  15. both are basic, practical and necessary skills…both require the ability to make judgement calls…why is one skill more important than the other…

  16. Great analogy, Scott. Driving is fairly easy to learn with practice and a desire to learn. The same goes for social media. If teachers and students alike give it a try, it is a part of what everybody seems to be doing these days, then they might just see the positives in it.

  17. We have often used drivers ed as a metaphor for teaching students how to use tech and social media. We don’t just hand our kids the keys to the car and tell them to go run some errands without first instructing them on how to handle a car properly, taking classes, practicing with an adult. If we are an educator, we have a responsibility to teach. social media and technology to kids properly. If current classrooms are all about paper and pencil, they are missing the boat as much as the people that said the horse and carriage will never be replaced. Teachers them to “drive.”

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