Wow, I am so amazed with all the online learning that I am doing between reading blogs and our assigned articles. I enjoy finding some little tidbits on Facebook and Twitter and sharing them with the class, I absolutely love when others share the same.
The TedTalk, How to Think about Digital Tattoos gave me lots to think about. I had never thought about our presence on the internet as digital tattoos, but it certainly is just like the permanent ink we adorn our bodies with. The footprints we leave on the internet are there forever. They are traces that were leave behind and are attached to our identity as they shout and tell stories for whom ever to see. I was even more taken back by the facial recognition Face.com software that allows the user to match a photo of someone’s face with his or her identity. Even when Alec show us the Russian Facebook which can match a picture to your profile, and let anyone find out who you are by just uploading your picture.
Peel Region School Board Staff Guidelines for Social Media was a great article about some of the guidelines and boundaries for using social media in the classroom and within the school. Sometimes people might not see posting on the internet as black and white, they may find some grey and feel okay about tip toeing into the grey area.
A friend asked my opinion of a situation involving her son’s teacher and authorization for photo usage. Another friend of hers screen shotted a picture and sent it to her, the photo was of my friends son. The photo was posted on his grade 1 teacher’s personal Instagram account. Without trying to alarm her, I instructed her to have a conversation with his teacher. I mentioned that the conversation should focus on the fact if she wanted her son on social media she would post pictures herself, and that the media release form did not cover non-school social media accounts.
I believe that educators are held at a higher standard as they are viewed very critically in the eyes of the public. When it comes to social media, your posts may cost you your job, or even haunt you for a longtime, yeah and there is that forever piece like a tattoo. Employers tend to us social networking sites to research job candidates, and close to 59% say they would be influenced by a candidate’s online presence. Sadly when it comes to social media. the whole world is watching, and just waiting for you to make a slip.
Safety is a concern when posting details about school and the students that attend, I like how a safety tips are suggested such as to refer to the sports schedule for information about location and times. This is a good deterrent for people who are looking to track down kids, by just browsing the internet.
Another teacher tip that I took form the Peel document was the idea about including professional hours in communication with parents. This has come up for me personally as a parent emailed at 10:00PM at night then became upset in a second email at 7AM that I didn’t respond. I explained that I would only respond to emails during my work hours. By having professional hours this sets boundaries were the world assumes you are available 24 hours a day. Again this came up in my head last night as I forgot to follow up with a parent and thought about calling at about 7PM, again Kayla reminded me that I should just call in the morning. I agreed and said “professional work hours” good point Kayla.
The staff supervision section makes many good points about staff use of social media. Staff must consider that online activity is still subject to the rules of a school and their professional responsibilities. I enjoy the example of a staff member choosing to read a book during student supervision. I have seen too many incidences of staff on their cell phones, except I did not believe it was my place to intervene and make them aware of their responsibilities. However, it is a distraction problem and a huge safety risk.
All in all I defiantly enjoyed the agree side of the debate. Either side of the debate that you choose, you always must tread lightly when it comes to your own and your students digital footprints.