An invitation from Oslo
It is 8 centigrade, cloudy and with occasional showers.
You read correctly. I am not referring to Malta. I am currently in Oslo. It is quite a distance from Home and the climate is also very different. The air is certainly cleaner.
I came to Oslo armed with a battery of sprays which I was using to lessen - to some extent - the negative effects of hay fever. Thanks to the clean Oslo air, I did not need to use anything these past few days! Clean air does make a difference. Isn't it the same with clean seas? Have we not all noticed the drastic reduction of so many ailments after Malta started to purify all drainage before dumbing it into the sea? Our heath is closely tied to the state of the environment. But I digress ...
I am in Oslo for another session of the EU Kids Online pan-European research project. I had written about this topic before, so i will not add too many details. However I would like to make a suggestion; preceded by the following preamble.
A lot is written about the Internet. Journalists do tend to sensationalize at times (I have to be kind to the colleagues of the professions!) Parents worry enormously; justifiably on occasions, not so, on others. One does not blame them particularly when in a situation of knowing less about the subject than their children.Policy makers take decisions; but are these decisions always research-backed positions or do such decisions emanate from moral panics generated by the press. Teachers tend to look at the internet as a competitor. The Internet, after all, presents a method of learning about ourselves and the world around us in a much more interesting method than traditional teachers do. A number of Church people also tend to exaggerate the negative effects of the Internet. I think that research shows that the Internet is neither a panacea of solutions but it is neither the root of all evil.
In such scenario coupled with the fact that most people do not have the time and the skills necessary to search for the best research results what can one do?
Perhaps I can now make the suggestion I promised earlier. The EU Kids Online project offers two tools which can come in handy. There is a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/EU-Kids-Online/102320089891626?ref=ts.
One can thus be involved in an informative and meaningful discussion on the subject. I suggest you access it, become a friend and share it with others.
The other tool which can be helpful is the contact list. One can form part of this list of contacts. Those on the list will periodically receive information about the results that are being registered. One can do this through the relevant url: media@lse/research/EUKidsOnline/MailingList.aspx." target="_blank">http://www2.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/research/EUKidsOnline/MailingList.aspx.
One final reflection: as usually happens during long meeting you find yourself checking your smart phone for emails and smses. One is also tempted to browse the Internet. This is a temptation that one surrenders to particularly when the discussion is not particularly interesting. One can try to excuse oneself saying that it is possible to multitask and that it is possible to follow a discussion while browsing the Internet. Could be, and I think that many times it can be done. Lkooking around the room, all full of distinguished academics i could notice that many had and succumbed to the same temptations I was labored with.
I then remembered the recent discussions after a lecturer prohibited students from taking laptops and tablets into lecture rooms. Is anyone so bold as to venture. To throw the first stone.