Just to be clear…..
I argued for the “agree” side of this debate with JR, voted for this side in pre and post-vote. I would have voted “agree” side even if I didn’t actively participate in the debate. In spite of this, I agree with Kennedy on a couple of points. Kennedy wrote in her blog post that we must use the same definition of digital footprint. Agree. I also agree with her following comment:
“ Anything good comes with responsibility and if I choose to incorporate technology into the classroom as a learning tool, then I am also taking on that responsibility of making sure my students know that it is there to enhance our learning experiences and it is to be respected.”
A bit further in her blog, Kennedy wrote:
“However, this debate also made me think of my own classroom and how I could maybe have some more discussions and/or teaching points to help my students become AWARE of their digital footprint. Maybe educating our students on the fact that they will always have a digital footprint is helpful enough.”
Again, I agree. This was exactly the point JR and I were making. This is another way of connecting with our students and building relationship with them. I commented during the debate that building relationships with students s the #1 responsibility of the teacher, and I stand by that comment. Jessica demonstrated this in her post-debate video. She created connections with the 2 students in her video when she asked for their opinion and thoughts.
It may be ironic that I argued for the “agree” side and sided with arguments from the “disagree” side in this post. This shows that this was a great question for a debate. It also shows how complicated and nuanced this argument is. Neither side can give a straight “yes” or “no”.
Educators do have a responsibility
Again, I am going to use an argument from the “disagree” side to make my point that schools DO have a responsibility to help students develop a digital footprint. (The Tedtalk by Paul Davis has now found a place in my Top Ten favorite Tedtalks.)
Each time Paul Davis said he went into a school, it was through a discussion with a principal. Not once did he say a parent initiated the invitation; it always came through the school. He also gave presentations to parents in schools. Therefore, if the school did not invite him, there would not be a presentation to parents. This is an example of how schools can support parents in helping their children develop a digital footprint, a main point in my and JR’s video.
Parents and Educators
Paul Davis was clear that it is the parent’s role to teach responsible use of technology to their children. It is parents who give the devices (and sign the contract) that enable their children to use the technology. It is parents who allow the children to bring the devices to school. In contrast, teachers do not sign contracts and pay the bills. Devices such as computers, Ipads, etc, that are used in the classroom are owned by the school district and stay at school. I do not disagree with him on this point. The issue is bigger than who signed the contract and paid the bills. The issue is about how to help students become responsible. It is an attitude, a value, a belief about the kind of people we want our children to become. This is NOT an add-on to the curriculum for as Kennedy said, discussions and talking points may be enough.
Take a look at this Tedtalk.
The presenter is an Early Childhood Educator. She works with our youngest learners and believes the main job of Early Learning is to teach children how to become a member of society. Parents can not do this alone. To quote an overused cliché “It takes a village to raise a child”. Teachers are a part of the village. Technology, as it is a tool now embedded in our society, is also a part of the village.