BY NICK YINGLING

Calling someone a “dweeb” basically aims to call that person socially inept. Essentially, everyone is on a level playing field, so when I call other people names and put them down, I generally feel better about myself. What’s really sad is that I get the pop psychology for what I’m doing but I keep doing it. The best time to call someone a dweeb, I’ve found, is during gym class, right before you blast them in their thick glasses with a dodgeball.

So what can dweebs do? They can take that pejorative name and repossess it. By creating a social website for students to help get homework done, Dweeber connects youths and helps them work with their school friends online. See what just happened? Dweebs aren’t socially inept anymore—they’re socially connected!

Dweeber is still in beta, so the community is still pretty small. When I imagine your students using this, I imagine them growing the user base through the recommendation that you make in your classroom. It’ll provide a collaborative environment for your students outside of the classroom, and it might possibly spread to the other classmates throughout the school.

Since this is social networking with kids, Dweeber doesn’t collect personal information about users under the age of 13 and they actively aim to keep that information off their site. Users aged 13 to 18 are encouraged to get parental consent before sending their information to other people on the internet. As always, remind your students to get parental permission and watch out for creeps.

Dweeber doesn’t give students the option to give out too much personal info outside of their name and school. Instead, it gives users a chance to create something they call a S.M.A.R.T. profile. The breakout for that acronym is Successes, Mind pattern, Attraction and interests, Resources, and Thinking talents. That’s the real tool that Dweebers can user to find people who share similar learning styles and learning interests.

Sorry for being hard on dweebs earlier on. I come from a different background and being cool is just something that comes naturally to me.

Dweeber

Related stuff:

Three guidelines for safe social networking

Help stop cyber pressure: Thats Not Cool