As educators, we know that engagement and relationships are crucial to student success. In addition to this…
How do we continue to connect with our students in a healthy way that meets the needs of our learners? How do we do this in an authentic, meaningful, current, and relevant way? Are we prioritizing the ethical implications for our students?
Currently, we are educating students on digital citizenship and the proper use of technology. In Chapter 2 of the article, Beware: Be Aware–The Ethical Implications of Teachers Who Use Networking Sites to Communicate, the author states, “Teachers are in a difficult position of trying to innovate in their classroom using SNSs while at the same time being conscious of the risks.” Sharing this perspective ethically draws out so many more questions. Reflecting on how I have communicated with my families and the platforms I use has brought me to ask myself; What is the purpose of sharing? Am I being authentic? Am I posting to share or in ways to make myself look good? As I read through the article and unwrapped my reflections on this topic, it’s interesting to reflect on how I’ve used technology to reach families. Indeed part of communicating is meeting the families with various tools to get the students’ families. It depends on the school and the community’s needs to determine the best platform to communicate. The chapter clearly shares the need for educators to be grounded in “understanding the agreements of SNS platforms is crucial to effective communication practices.” Does every lesson need to be grounded in a social media platform or a technology tool? Or does engagement connect with students through relationships? These questions were pondered as I read through Chapter 2: Beware: Be Aware–The Ethical Implications of Teachers Who Use Networking Sites to Communicate. Interestingly, communicating with my parents and students was always a priority; however, the ethical and moral implications were not top of my priorities.
Chapter two: Beware: Be Aware–The Ethical Implications of Teachers Who Use Networking Sites to Communicate breaks down the information teachers should pay attention to Privacy, Data Security, and Informed Consent.
These areas will significantly impact my path regarding what platforms I choose to use. I have to admit, as a mother, I didn’t check off the box for my daughters’ media release form. I was hesitant about her privacy and identity being shared in ways out of my hands. I have changed my outlook on children’s privacy since becoming a mother. As the article shares, “educational integrity” matters, and ultimately educators need to teach families about the privacy settings on the platforms they choose to use.
In the article, Ethics of Teaching with Social Media, ethics is defined as ” a moral choice, which means that teachers have to ultimately decide their own responses to the dilemmas.” Reflecting on this and the chart below shows the essential issues that educators need to consider. I have stopped posting pictures of students on Twitter as I don’t feel it’s my place to share students’ identities. AS THE CHART EXPLAINS, I will cover their face and respect their anonymity if I share photos. I work in a diverse community, and I wonder if all families really understand what they sign in terms of the media release form. Being transparent with families and making sure they know the tools and platforms is essential and our responsibility. This chart on the Ethics of Teaching with Social Media by Henderson, Auld, and Johnson should bring transparency and continue to normalize the conversations needed in schools with other colleagues and families.