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If the school does not know the web

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A couple enters a club and, after passing the checks, joins a group of friends. Among them is a girl who sniffs cocaine. This is the content of a video shot in a second class of the Liceo Umberto. And that ended up on a high school website. Except to be removed after less than 24 hours, as told by Il Mattino. Obviously (or fortunately) not even the shadow of cocaine in reality. The white powder that can be glimpsed in the film is the one obtained by crumbling a piece of chalk originally intended to trace formulas or declinations on the blackboard. And risen against his will to a leading actor role. Incidentally, the video did not even shine for originality.

Basically being the remake of another movie on the net. A lively dispute has arisen around this episode between those, parents and teachers, who consider the episode serious. And how many consider it to be nothing more than an adolescent manifestation. I confess that personally I have not been able to be indignant. To scandalize me. Nor to upset me. At most I made it a matter of good taste. And there is no doubt that in a school the educational process also passes through the transmission of the canons of good taste. But otherwise I would rob the incident from a girlish girl. For the sake of completeness, the crime took place within a paragoliardic week of high school.

The High School Fashion Week, a week in which themed clothing is identified for each day. I say this to emphasize that the atmosphere at school was naturally relaxed among the children and therefore easily inclined to generate excesses. But believe me, if I think of how many were combined in my class more than half a century ago – obviously mutatis mutandis – what happened makes me smile. I would therefore hand over the management of the episode to the wisdom and intelligence recognized to the headmaster of the high school Umberto, whom I know personally. And, frankly, if we must, as we must, deal with the cocaine problem, let’s do it by carrying out strict and tight controls outside the schools where drug dealing is known to give rise to the addiction on which the underworld profits. But returning to the school, the story could be used as a pretext to spend some time discussing between children and teachers on the net. The advantages of him. Its risks. The danger of exposing oneself to misunderstandings by making casual use of it. The fact that its contents are often not certified and therefore not very reliable… More generally, the real problem can be seen once again in the background.

What is the role of the school in an age in which young people are inundated by a flood of information. They are subject to infinite visual suggestions related to the internet but not only. Think of the amount of series that are offered by television channels as well as the network. The contents of which are not always uplifting and educational. I believe that the theme of the role of the school is global in scope. And I don’t know what it should or can be. At the time of the web, that is of the so-called vertical information, the function of teachers is heavily questioned. When it is not overwhelmed. To these observations we must add the damages deriving from the backwardness of our school. Where the current centrality of the network has intervened almost nothing. It is absent in teaching methodologies. Without prejudice to the use of dad in the emergency climate generated by the pandemic. It is absent in the basic training of students since not all children are taught its characteristics, properties, potential …

Is it possible that the place to which the task of forming citizens with a critical conscience is assigned could proceed as if the greatest revolution produced by mankind had never occurred, namely the digital one? Certainly the relationship between school and digital cannot be reduced to questioning about the production of a film, even if it is of dubious taste. Or to use programs in the school to communicate grades, absences or conduct notes to parents. In short, the idea of ​​ignoring the problem is a serious mistake: at least failing to alert young people to the need for a critical use of this formidable tool. Learning to surf the net wisely is not a job that is learned in the shop. With daily use. It needs methodological knowledge. In this respect, the school can do a lot.