Issues to Consider

I really enjoyed the topic this week even though, I have to admit, I thought it might be a bit of a dud. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised and found a handful of pieces particularly interesting, all of them themed around privacy. I’ll jump in with the first thing… Lovepreet‘s article and presentation this week spoke about boundaries between personal and professional lives and how our personal identites are open to more scrutiny because of our job. I generally avoid posting online and would be considered a social media lurker. I think part of this stemmed from my time as an undergraduate where it seemed like every class was constantly talking about these boundaries and how careful you have to be online as a teacher and so it felt easier for me to just avoid it altogether. However, Steve Boots gave us great presentation a few weeks ago that got me really thinking about what our presence online as teachers could like. I found it interesting to see how Steve navigates his online personality as a teacher and balances ethics and morals. He gave some solid tips about how to straddle both worlds, and honestly, it was one of the first times I have really had the opportunity to listen to someone say “go for it”, rather than “you shouldn’t because you’re a teacher”. That doesn’t mean I am ready to jump two feet into social activism online, but it did get me reconsidering my hesitancy to have an opinion outside of the classroom.

Privacy at school is a big deal and this was evident while watching all the videos and reading the articles for this week as it was a theme that came up again and again. There was a lot of great information brought up, but Dylan mentioned FOIP and the STF Code of Ethics in his presentation, and I think this is a good reminder that privacy is a serious issue with legal implications. Last year, I actually had a student come to me with a concern that their photo had been shared on one of our school’s official social media accounts, but the student’s family had not given consent for images to be shared. Admittedly, I think this scenario is fairly rare but serves as an example of the importance of taking student privacy seriously. I don’t think that means that you can never post about school events online though! For example, this week Britt shared an image of working on a Quizizz review with students and emoji’d all their faces, which was a respectful way that I see many teachers use to deal with privacy while also sharing classroom success.

The last thing I will mention is privacy in my personal life. Alec showed us that video in class this week about the dad who made his child a Google account and shared a bunch of stuff to it, then he asked us our thoughts on it. Personally, I am pretty hesitant about posting anything about my children online (they are 8 and 5). That doesn’t mean that I never do – I share the odd tidbit here and there, but my social media is also pretty narrowed down to friends and family only. For me it comes down to consent and their own right to privacy and the creation of their own digital identity. It fits in a bit with what Alec mentioned about “Personal Identifying Information” and “Personal Embarrassing Information” (Alec already plugged Danah Boyd‘s article where she talks about this, but it was quite interesting if you haven’t read it yet!), and honestly I don’t want either of those online for my children at their age (or ever?!).

Anyways, I feel like I could ramble on forever about privacy, so I will wrap this up. I hope you enjoyed this read – I can’t believe the end of the semester is almost here!

4 Replies to “Issues to Consider”

  1. Kola Mckenzie says: Reply

    Hi Holly, I as well am hesitant about my daughters’ privacy. I did enjoy the review of FOIP and the STF code of ethics., as well. Since becoming a mother, students’ privacy has become more significant in my life. I think about my ‘why’ to posting now and am more confident going forward with this new knowledge. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kelly Ziegler says: Reply

    Yes! I seriously laughed out loud when you said a “social media lurker”. I too would fall under this category. I don’t love the limelight, and in fact, am quite shy about sharing things. I do like to sometimes browse my social media accounts to see what’s up and to feel like I am up to date on the latest news or news of friends that I haven’t talked to for a while. But that’s pretty much the extent of it. I have always been conscious of privacy and what I am sharing, how much, the audience, and all of those things. I think that those Cyber Bullying campaigns when I was a kit were effective for kids like me. I wonder how effective campaigns such as those would be in today’s world, or if they even would be?

  3. Kelly and Holly, I too would be a “social media lurker”. I have actually found the most difficult part of this class to be creating blog posts, posting on Twitter, and posting on Discord. Growing up and throughout university I was consistently told to “watch what you post because it is permanent” or “students and parents are watching what you post”. After taking this class, I still don’t think I am quite at the point yet where I want to share my thoughts and opinions online. I am however starting to enjoy Twitter more and it is becoming easier and easier to send out tweets (even though I have tweeted and then deleted some). I feel like kids today are completely opposite and post first and think about it later. It is definitely going to be a hard habit to break for some of the students that I teach.

    1. Holly Alexander says: Reply

      Yes, I feel exactly the same! I have conditioned myself to not be visibly active online, so this class has been a challenge. I always think that I’m not posting enough or tweeting enough, but in relation to where I started I feel like I am super active! I agree that it stems from growing up in a time of fear of the online world because I got the same messaging as you going through school.

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