This weeks debate were also on very interesting topics. I have to say I am glad that week 2 was just as interesting as week 1. Our topics this week were:
Topic 1: Social media is ruining childhood.
Topic 2: Surveillance of student data and online activities by school systems is necessary to ensure student safety.
Topic 1 started with a pretty heavy agree, and I have to admit, I also thought that I would end up agreeing with this statement. From everything we talked about, I actually ended up changing my mind. The main reason I ended up changing my view was one question: What is a good childhood? A good childhood from 10 years ago could be way different than a good childhood now. Just like how everything else evolves, childhoods should evolve too. I grew up without a cell phone in hand. It was not until grade 8 that I got my own. My days were spent outside, playing games, and the occasion computer game. Today, a happy childhood would look similar, but kids will record the stuff their doing. Children are also able to talk and communicate with each other even if they cannot be together and play. Although childhood looks different from mine, it doesn’t mean it is “ruined”. One article talks about how parents are romanticizing their childhoods. This article talks about how this could be potentially damaging. 20-50 years ago, there was not as much access to information and it felt safer in a sense, but realistically, the information was just not known. Again, just because childhoods look different, it doesn’t mean one was better or worse than the other.
The second topic up for debate talks about surveillance of students. This was something I knew schools did, but I did know know the extent that some school went to. I think that I am a bit of a fence sitter on this mainly because I think there is a line. I think while students are using school devices or school resources, like Wi-Fi, students work should be monitored mainly to keep records from a liability standpoint. We talked about how schools have a liability to keep kids safe, this includes at recess, in class, and on the internet. Of course this monitoring should mainly be keeping students off of websites with dangerous, distracting, inappropriate, or harmful content. This could be done by blocking websites. I think it is important to talk about student-teacher trust, openness, and acceptance. This conversation revolved around sexuality. If you were a student in a conservative area, you may not feel comfortable researching your sexuality. This is where trust and an open-mind from teachers need to be in place. Sadly, not everyone is accepting and until we have an ethical system, monitoring students may be oppressing them. I think monitoring should only be to keep records of anything for liability reasons.