My opinions on openness and sharing have changed drastically since taking courses from Alec and Katia. I have learned so much about the opportunities and possibilities that can arise from sharing online, as well as the importance of controlling your own digital footprint. Some people who are hesitant to share online and choose not to participate in the digital world think this is the solution to staying safe online. In reality, avoiding it altogether is making it worse because,“If you aren’t controlling your footprint, others are.”
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Another issue with this is the example we need to set for students. Kids are growing up in this culture of openness and sharing, so the chances are they are not going to avoid it but be active participants of it. Because of this we need to teach them how to be safe and leave positive digital footprints. If we are avoiding it altogether, what are we teaching them? During the debate this week someone also mentioned the fact that most young people are more knowledgeable about protecting themselves online than adults are. So not only do we need to set an example for students, but we can also learn from them. Stephanie was on the disagree side and her blog post reflects a similar opinion to mine, that we need to model positive digital citizenship for our students.
These guidelines for social media offers a comprehensive look at how to use social media appropriately, especially as teachers and professionals. It is important to think wisely about what we post, and cover all our bases when sharing photos, information, or work from students. Because the ability to post and share is so easy and can be done with a click of the button, sometimes people don’t consider what they are posting. Geddes makes a good point when she mentions that we were more thoughtful when we had to log onto our computer before we could post, as opposed to having the power to do so in the moment on our smart phones. We can sometimes get caught up in the moment and post or share something we would later regret.
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Sharing student work and posting pictures of students was also a topic subject to much debate. The most important thing when it comes to this is getting student and parent permission. I think it’s great that a parent can follow our school in Instagram and see some of the things that are happening around the school. It’s equally as great when a student shares a project they have done and receives feedback or comments from someone across the world. But with all these things comes the issue of privacy and student identity. It is also important to protect students, but do the pros outweigh the cons? I’m not sure. Amy found herself reflecting on this and wondering if she was being too restrictive with sharing.
So after debate number 4 I am finding a pattern in my thoughts and blog posts… I am not completely on one side of these debates. There are so many things to consider on both sides that it is difficult not to consider the pros and cons of each. But I guess that’s why the call it “The Great Ed Tech Debate”.