EC&I 830

Not My Top 3 Pick

This topic was not a top pick for me. Who would have thought I would find myself so passionate about it? Perhaps it is because I never really thought of my role in social justice issues. This topic, Educators Have a Responsibility to Use Technology and Social Media to Promote Social Justice, was a hot one for some. This included me and I thought long about why that ended up being so.

First and foremost I am an Indigenous woman who relies on social activism to make positive change for my future, and the future of my children and my students. I can not stay silent in my personal life nor my professional life. I don’t have that privilege. Sharing on Social Media, and participating in walks for Orange shirt day, MMIW (Red Dress), Pride Day, and wearing a ribbon skirt to support a little girl in our province who was discriminted against for being Indigenous are how I am supporting and calling for change to issues for Indigneous people and all disempowered people. Why? Because these are my family members, my band members and people in my community who are marginalized on a daily basis. I teach about and participate in these things with my own children and with my students. Guess where I see all of these events? That’s right, social media. Then I share them and ask others to join me if they wish to.


The article Genuine Social Media Activism: A Guide for Going Beyond the Hashtag, mentions how the death of George Floyd at police hands was a catalyst for many people to examine their neutrality in the face of police brutality and systemic racism and many turned to social media to express their support. Social media activism started well before this but it was a boost in using social media and it connected people from around the globe. The same article goes on to talk about ‘slactivism’ and that, “Genuine social media activism is supported by concrete actions, donations, and measurable commitments to change.” I agree that social media isn’t the be-all end-all but it is where we can share with others and it is changing how social justice grows and evolves. It is one of those cultural changes that I talked about in Topic 3. Social media extends what we are exposed to and can help us connect with like-minded people and causes.

  • Angela Watson had some great points in her podcast. She does not believe teachers can be neutral. When she shared her stories it becomes clear that we need to respond.

Her words, “So for us to say our role is to be neutral is to operate from a place of privilege. Not privilege as in wealth — that’s just one of many types of privilege, and one that most educators don’t have. Our place of privilege is choosing not to pay attention to these stories or take a position on them because we are not personally impacted. None of us should be neutral about that.” There are so many times in history that teachers were not neutral and have participated in and used social media in one form or another, whether it be newpapers or Twitter. How do you think teaching treaties in the classroom became important? It wasn’t because teachers remained neutral. It was because educators spoke up. Indigenous knowledge was the same way. Woman’s rights, same thing. Modeling is how our students learn.

As I spoke about in our opening I was inspired by the article “Using Social Justice to Promote Student Voice” by Lorena German, she talks about a course she has created called Middle School Social Justice where she focuses on giving students’ voices. I can see all of the benefits of teaching students to research social justice issues and learn how to create arguments to gain valuable communication skills and over time the confidence and knowledge to speak out.  We always try to teach our students these skills anyway so why not tie it to content that can help make a difference in their society.

June 11, 12:00 pm

When the Regina pride parade poster showed up in my Twitter feed I shared it and showed my students and now I will share it with you.


Debate 4 – Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice.

4 Comments

  1. Jessica Parr

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this with others. Sometimes the way we perceive an issue is all about the place we are standing from when looking at it. If we are standing in a place of privilege we can turn our back so as we can’t see it. When we are oppressed, it doesn’t matter which way we turn, it’s always in our face and something that needs to be reckoned with. I personally thank you for the social justice work that you do. Thank you for thinking of the generations to come behind us, and fighting for their equality.

  2. Jenny

    Great post Kari! It was pleasure working with Jessica and you on this topic. I was not sure where I stood on it when I signed up and thought it would challenge me. I have learned a lot about the role teachers play in giving their voice and allowing their students to see how we can look at social justice issues through social media platform. I think we need to model to them how you can have a responsible and respectful voice on important issues.

  3. Jenny

    Great post Kari! It was pleasure working with Jessica and you on this topic. I was not sure where I stood on it when I signed up and thought it would challenge me. I have learned a lot about the role teachers play in giving their voice and allowing their students to see how we can look at social justice issues through social media platform. I think we need to model to them how you can have a responsible and respectful voice on important issues.

  4. Kelly Ziegler

    I find that so funny that you said that it wasn’t a top 3 choice for you because I was feeling the same. When I looked at the prompt originally, I knew that I disagreed but I thought it was so cut and dry. When the debate was happening, I realized quite quickly that there were very clear divides on both sides. In the end, I still feel the same that I did prior to the debate, but I knew that it wasn’t something that I would really sway on. We had talked about this in another one of the tech classes already, and my mind has been made up ever since. It may not be the most popular opinion, but I can’t say that social media should be forced upon anyone. Personal or professional.

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