This weeks topic had me extremely intrigued for a couple of reasons:
- As a teacher, and current Masters student in the Educational Psychology program, I see the impact and importance of developing skills for positive social media use in our students!
- As a new mom, who frequently shares photos of her daughter, it really made me question how I share with my friends and family special moments of my daughter!
Ok, so going into the debate I had to side with the agree group for the argument that “Openness and sharing in our schools is unfair to our kids”.
Why I agree with this statement is because I believe many students really do not understand that what they share will likely be around for their entire life and they believe that SnapChat truly only lasts for 5 seconds. As a high school teacher, almost all of my students use SnapChat as their main social media platform and I am frequently discussing things such as: repercussions of their actions online, consent, and bullying (which, more times than initially thought was unintentional).
The agree group had some great arguments in Monday’s debate. They mentioned that there are boundaries to what we are sharing and that many parents disagree with posting students pictures online. This Telegraph article states that almost 1500 pictures of a child are shared on social media by time they are 5 years old!!! How insane is that, but honestly very believable as I am likely just as bad.
Now, the articles from this group actually starting swaying me to the disagree side. The above Telegraph article mentions that we focus so much on informing our students of proper use, however parents ALSO need to understand privacy settings and the scope of who can really share and view photos. For example, in this “You might want to rethink sharing those back to school photos” article, they show how simply posting a back to school picture of your child can reveal where the child attends school, unfortunately revealing more than most would like with complete strangers. They suggest making sure that revealing markers such as school logos be exempt from pictures to further enhance the safety of our children. Lastly, their article from Wangle Family Insites, reinforced the proper use of the pictures being shared. We need to, as both parents and teachers, ask ourselves:
- Is the privacy set so that only those you want to view it can?
- Is the location tracking off?
- Is a friends child also in the picture? If so, ask consent!
- If you’re unsure of any of these ——————-> THEN DO NOT POST!!!
I am slightly stubborn and definitely resistant to change, as it seems to me that technology changes so rapidly and I find it frustrating to stay on top of it all. However, this class is really teaching me to embrace technology. As a teacher and a mother I believe it is my responsibility to become familiar with technology so that I can show my students and children how to use it safely and responsibly
Now, Digital Native is a new term to me, and one that surfaced in this great article “School Counselors’ Experiences Working with Digital Natives”, as well as in this YouTube Video “Kid, you posted WHAT?! How to raise a digital citizen”. Digital native refers to someone who was brought up around and using digital technology from a very early age. This article and video speak to supporting our students and kids in their use of technology. We need to do this by being models of positive social media use for them.
The disagree group had 3 main arguments and the one that sticks out for me is that it is a reality of childhood now, so we must embrace it! It would be unrealistic to think that someone won’t have an online identity, so again we need to really enforce positive digital citizenship. Without openness and sharing in the classroom and at home we are just ignoring what our students and children are doing. Having open channels of communication brings awareness to the positive and negative aspects of social media use.
The “Building and Keeping a Positive Digital Identity Article” has wonderful examples of how to address and teach students about positive digital citizenship. This STEP approach would be a great poster to have in the classroom to remind students of a quick checklist before posting. A few other points that stood out from this article were the “front page” rule, if you wouldn’t want it posted on the front page of a newspaper than you shouldn’t post, and the “consideration of secondary uses”, if you don’t know with 100% certainty that they will not share what you send them with someone else, then again don’t send!
A great argument for using technology is accessibility, between students and also for students to teachers. I totally agree that this is a good thing, but my only problem with teachers being so accessible is that students, not all but many, then do not learn how to confront or ask someone something in person. A student leaves my classroom and 2 minutes later I get an e-mail asking for an extension. I understand that students are shy and sometimes intimidated when relationships aren’t great or haven’t had time to build. But they do miss out of learning these important interaction skills.
What I can conclude after this debate and from what I now know is this. I disagree that Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids. Now, just like the other debates we have had there is always balance to what you do. It is important for our students to unplug and get hands on, and to not have access to their phones throughout the night, but it all comes back to use showing them how to balance their time of using technology. They will be using it regardless and they will make mistakes just as we all have at some point or time. So, we must embrace the use of it and do our best to guide them in how to use them responsibility and yes, show them that there may be a time when they wish they could erase something and they truly can’t. I have learnt lessons the hard way, the reality is that they will too!