The Great Debate
The Intro Video
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 …
or check out the podcast version (great when on a walk/folding laundry 🙂 )
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.
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.
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).