Openness and Sharing in Unfair to Kids – A Debate Aftermath

The Great Debate

Check out the debate in its entirety.

The Intro Video

The Aftermath

My partner, Sherrie, and I stayed on the Zoom for a little post debate breakdown / reflection. We had a blast researching, planning, creating, and delivering our debate. We also felt that our esteemed opponents did a fantastic job presenting their side. Here’s our postmortem vlog …

A great way to reflect on our great debate.

or check out the podcast version (great when on a walk/folding laundry 🙂 )

The Pre-Vote

The initial voting saw that most in this group did not think openness and sharing are unfair to kids.

The Ringer

Accepting and embrace open and sharing learning helped us with our research immensely, as we were able to access an authority on this subject Dr. Verena Roberts. Check out our full interview below.

Check out more on Dr. Roberts including her doctorate work in our Wakelet (and thank you Dr.Roberts :-))

The Opposition

Thanks to our worthy opposition Melinda and Altan. They did an amazing job with their video, research, and arguments. Made for a great debate indeed.

Love the look, information, tone, and great points made in their opening statement.

The Results

We were able to sway a few more to the open and sharing side, which I feel our opposition acknowledged, but provided many important challenges when taking this approach.

Twitter Poll

The results with our Twitter Poll basically netted the same results as our class post vote did. Click here to jump on the Tweet and read a few of the replies.

The Rant

Below is a transcript of our extended “rant” with links to some of our research. A full-length version of the rant is also available for viewing on our Open For Business Wakelet.

Sherrie’s Extended Rant

Is openness and sharing in schools unfair to our students?  Or is it unfair not to take the opportunity to teach students about positive online behaviours.  Schools are the best place for students to learn how to create and maintain a positive identity online.   

Digital footprint, digital shadow, online reputation, digital tattoo — whatever you call it, it’s a term that’s too important to ignore yet often isn’t discussed in homes or classrooms.” This digital footprint will affect students for their entire lives, so it is definitely important that students are aware of what they are sharing and what is being shared about them.  

This brings me to the question as to why do schools use social media platforms to share and promote an open classroom?  By sharing student work online, schools can celebrate student success, promote learning, build school culture and invite parents, and community, to be a part of the learning process.  

There are many reasons why educators use social media in schools.  One – it is a part of our current reality; instead of resisting it, we need to embrace it!  Two, it provides instant communication with our stakeholders – no more notes lost in the bookbag!  And most importantly, three, CONNECTIVITY – openness and sharing encourages collaboration, creativity, and communication, and what is better than that?  

Are there dangers to be concerned about by sharing online?  Sure, but such dangers have been present long before social media, and sadly, as much as we wish we could, they simply cannot be completely avoided.  What we can do is educate students to be informed posters.  Students need to be a part of the decision-making as to what is posted about them.  It is not enough to have a parent sign-off on September 1st that pictures can be posted in the school yearbook and on their social media sites; students need to be consulted because it is their digital footprint that is being affected and they need to learn about what is and what is not appropriate to post.  Australian educational blogger, Kathleen Morris, shares: “unfortunately, issues such as cyberbullying, sexting, and problematic internet use are not going away. It’s so important that teachers are equipped to teach about these issues as a preventative, and follow-up issues as they occur.

Most of all, don’t be afraid of these challenges. As a teacher we’re in a unique position to really help empower young people to use technology safely, enjoyably, and purposefully.

Educators using social media as a form of openness and sharing need to model good citizenship and be aware of their school divisions policies regarding social media.  I can tell you that South East Cornerstone leaves no stone un-turned.  We have AP 193 on Social Media Guidelines, complete with a SOCIAL MEDIA APPROVAL FORM appendix, AP 140 on Acceptable Use,  Incidental Use, Unacceptable use, and AP 183 on Confidentiality.  And then of course there is the school registration form where parents give their consent under LAFOIP, for their child’s image to be shared.  Teachers need to be aware of which parents have not given permission.  And also understand that just because a parent has given permission does not mean that you don’t need to consult with the student for their permission before you post.

In their research, Buchanan, Southgate, Scevek and Smith state:  “Digital footprint management goes beyond meeting the legal obligations of protecting children, following the code of conduct, and complying with computer usage policies. Most schools are not only fulfilling these legal requirements but are educating their students about cyber safety. Education for the development of a positive digital footprint doesn’t finish at teaching students what they cannot do but builds productively on this by letting them know what they can do to develop an online presence that will be an asset to them in the future. This represents a shift from a model based on compliance to one based on ethical management.”    

So is openness and sharing in schools unfair to students?  I guess that depends on who is doing the posting.  

The Partner

Thanks to my partner Sherrie, she was absolutely fantastic to work with and we learned a lot from each other … here’s the link to her blog (we basically shared the exact post but here is a link to her blog if you’d like to check it out and/or leave a comment).


6 thoughts on “Openness and Sharing in Unfair to Kids – A Debate Aftermath

  1. Dean, I wish you would have been my kids teacher! You are the man. I think the passion and work you do are unmatched. Although I am not near as technologically inclined as you, I feel the importance of making sure our students have the most relevant, engaging learning opportunities, and we would be doing them a huge disservice to them if we didn’t embrace technology and give them all the opportunity this offers them. There is a lot of responsibility with this, but the risk is worth the reward! Kudos to you and Sheri! Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dean, you have taught me so much over this course about using technology to its full potential. I want to credit you on being a technology ambassador, and for stepping up to complete a second debate. I have thoroughly enjoyed both of your debate videos, but have to say that this latest news broadcast being titled This Debate has 300 seconds was especially witty to me. I have also appreciated that you have gone up and beyond when preparing these debate videos. The fact that you conduct poles on Twitter, and reach out to professional of the topics like Dr. Roberts is truly inspiring to watch. Thank you for sharing all of your technological knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the compliment 🙏 this class inspires me and good people like you have done much for my growth in this area. I’m glad I did two debates my partners were great and I learn a lot and had a lot of fun too. We will have to do a math project some day


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