Debate #4: Educators have a Responsibility to use Technology and Social Media to Promote Social Justice.

Electronic communication and social media open up new avenues for extending and improving educational opportunities. However, as the number of communication methods grows, so does the risk of making an unintended error. Preserving professional boundaries in all types of communication, whether technology-related or not, is critical for maintaining public trust and acceptable professional relationships as an educator. Professional boundaries can begin to slip as more informal contact channels with students and parents are used.

social media tools provide exciting opportunities to learn, teach and communicate with students, parents and colleagues. They serve a range of purposes from helping students and parents access assignments and resources to connecting with communities all over the world.

Teachers use the Internet and social networking sites as instructional tools for social justice, looking for resources to help them construct lesson plans and learn new skills. These tools give teachers new options to connect and converse with colleagues, as well as grow their professional network and maintain their professional development. New technologies, when used intelligently and appropriately, provide members with the opportunity to model digital citizenship for students and deliver the curriculum in creative and engaging ways.

I strongly believe that, When it comes to teaching social justice, the teacher should also be encouraged to adopt the position of a person with a viewpoint rather than being a “silent participant.” Following the debate, I believe there is no doubt about whether or not schools should teach social justice. I believe educators have always had the responsibility of nurturing and guiding children to become constructive leaders in our communities, and it is their responsibility to empower students to form their own opinions. But when it comes to whether or not to use social media to promote social justice, I am more leaning towards the Disagree side because educators should be neutral and should use social media wisely.

According to the article,  Must Teachers be “Neutral”? teachers are encouraged to let students make informed decisions for themselves” otherwise, “rather than think, many students will merely agree with the teacher.” 

Teaching kids that there are multiple points of view and different points of view will aid in the development of critical thinkers. I believe that freely discussing personal opinions on social media make people more susceptible, particularly if those views contradict the ideology promoted by their schools. Having multicultural schools with various religions and beliefs, schools need to respect the families’ cultural backgrounds.

This, I believe, would be an excellent approach to teach students about social justice. The power of teacher neutrality, describes an excellent example of this, in which the instructor, rather than scolding the student when he stated that a car is a living thing, opened up the classroom conversation and turned it into a great learning experience. Students were given the opportunity to think deeply, practice debate skills, gather research, refine the definition of living things, and defend their ideas and convictions. They were able to create a more complete description of living things as well as understand more about automobiles. Students may see both sides of a story by conducting research, which allows them to be critical thinkers and make their own informed conclusions. I wouldn’t feel comfortable imposing my own ‘social agenda’ on anyone, especially because anything kids upload becomes part of their digital footprint,

which can easily be twisted and come back to haunt them later in life. When it comes to selecting whether or not to speak out on social media on specific social justice issues by educators, time and place play a significant impact.

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4 thoughts on “Debate #4: Educators have a Responsibility to use Technology and Social Media to Promote Social Justice.

  1. Hi Fasiha! Public trust is such an important issue. It seems that we are becoming more and more divided as a society, but school is the one place where parents feel obligated to trust because we are spending the same if not more time with their children than we are sometimes. I like how you viewed social media as a tool for our students. It’s not the only way we can seek out information but it is a very popular one and students gravitate towards it. I definitely try to follow the rule of teaching multiple viewpoints about an issue and then giving students the tools to be able to make a decision for themselves.

    • Thank you so much Katherine for your thoughtful comments. I agree your point but I guess if a children values or religious beliefs are different than the school beliefs than it surely become a problem for a parent to trust school in all areas. So I believe it depends on the different situations

    • Interesting point. Over the last 12 years or so of my teaching, I have noticed a big change in the community members trusting teachers. I think because everyone has had an educational experience in some way (good or bad), all people feel as if they could do their jobs quite easily and know how to do them better than we do. But I do agree that social media can be used as a tool for those that feel comfortable using it. Personally, using social media for activism would be the least authentic thing that I could ever do.

      • Great comment Kelly! I also truly believe that social media for activism would be the least authentic thing to do.

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