Should educators be sharing so much online?

I was part of the disagree team for this week’s debate topic: Is openness and sharing in schools unfair to our students? We took the stance that openness and sharing is not only fair to our students but it would in fact be an injustice to students if educators did not use this tool to promote their work. At first this angle was a stretch for me. I can see all of the negative aspects to this topic, such as the infliction on privacy and safety rights for our children. However upon researching the topic further I now agree that educators play an important role in modeling intentional posting for students. There’s always a but though…

As we demonstrated in our opening statement video, Kari, Shelly and I provided three main reasons to demonstrate that sharing online is fair to our students.

  1. Online sharing does not ruin childhood but enhances it.
  2. Sharing helps to connect schools, communities and families
  3. Educators can aid in the curation of positive digital footprints.

The agree team did a fantastic job! Thanks for a great discussion Dani, Joe and Amy R. Here is their opening statement video. They had some great and scary points about safety concerns surrounding over sharing of photos and info on social media. These facts create fear and caution surrounding this whole debate topic. No parent or educator ever wants to put their child or student into harms way. I keep thinking about the story that Alec told us, about how he found out that a ballet photo of his daughter ended up on a suspicious site. “50% of the images posted on paedophile sites were sourced from parents’ social media profiles“, yikes that’s scary! The agree team sure got me re-thinking my new stance on this topic. What’s a parent and educator to do?

 

Yes there are Dangers of Posting Online however, there are also dangers when travelling by plane, going to school, driving a car, eating anything etc.

Image result for funny choking gif

We need to respect the dangers and move forward using our smarts. Educators and parents can follow the STEP approach as outlined by Mike Ribble in the article Building and Keeping a Positive Digital Identity: A practical approach for educators, students and parents, to ensure that we are posting intentionally and respectfully.

In our debate group we chose to focus on the positives of posting online. Parents and educators have a responsibility to model the curation of positive digital footprints for the younger generation. Children/teens today are online and posting already, so in order to protect them we need to educate them and their families on the ways to promote their positive image, through highlighting their talents, interests and future goals. Through the curation of a positive digital footprint we are helping our children and students to become aware of the permanence of online posting and also the power of online posting. The younger generation have a lot to say and their voices can be heard globally through social media, and that’s a wonderful thing! Little Simon Link speaks out about recess and his speech is broadcasted through YouTube. This powerful message will be received by a wide global audience because it was shared online.

 

As a parent, I love seeing the pictures that my son’s teacher posts to her private Facebook group. These pictures help me to ask specific questions about what he is doing at school. School and home can be connected through sharing online. Parents can be a part of their child’s learning in a bigger way through this medium. Yes there can be situations which warrant zero online posting. Religious beliefs and legal cases must be respected by educators. Parents and children must always be consulted before anything is posted online. Consent must be given by all parties involved. Posting student photos on the Web: explains the legal complications of when and when not to post photos of students.

I think back to when I use to make scrapbooks for each of my students. I would collect all of their work throughout the year and once a month I would meet with each child and they would select their best work to go into their scrapbook. These books would be taken with me on home visits around report card time, as a way for my students to show their work to their parents. At the end of the year the scrapbooks would be sent home as a keep sake. Posting to a digital portfolio like Seesaw, is much the same. This is a fantastic way to document learning and highlight great student work and achievement to show parents. The difference with this new technology is that parents can give feedback and comments right away, instead of waiting until report card time. Seesaw and other technological tools must be used appropriately and respectfully. There is always a risk that a teacher or parent will use one of these online tools to demean or embarrass a child, as explained by Kari in her latest blog post and that is why I implore that educators and parents always receive consent before posting online. A child and his or her family should have a choice about how they are presented online.

In closing, it is important for educators to model positive posting etiquette for their students/ families because the benefits are huge! Connecting families, communities and global citizens should always be the goal. We do not learn in a bubble, we need to show our children that. We all need to be exposed to many world views and have the power and confidence to create change in the world.

Just had to add the full rap in here, cause it’s so awesome…

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5 thoughts on “Should educators be sharing so much online?

  1. Well expressed point of view. I really like the idea that says sharing photos helps in connecting people and networking. But I still think parents should look at that from this point of view because, till now, some parents still look at the “dangers” of sharing photos and posting online. For such people, I think they consent if they can see the benefit of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post Esther. I really agree with you. There is so much good in posting and using the online world that we cannot ignore it. I agree that there are negatives and there will always be those cases where things don’t go well but those few cases should not scare us away from sharing all the good that goes on in our classrooms. As long as we are cautious and ask permission, I say share away because what better way for our students to learn than through us and their own experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great job! I think you support your points very well. I love the video of Simon Link; however, at the same time I wonder what went on behind the scenes leading up to his performance, and connected to that, how he’ll feel about this talk in 30 years from now. I’m not saying that I’m against sharing things like this, but wow – there’s just no way we can understand the long term social changes taking place now that this kind of worldwide fame can happen to anyone.

    Like

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