This past week, my EDTC400 class debated whether or not the openness and sharing in schools is unfair to students. One major advancement in education over the past decade has been the ability to share students work digitally, online for other educators, classrooms, and schools to see. However, questions have risen about fairness to students and how this can affect their digital identities. How far is too far when it comes to documenting online what is happening daily in schools, and who really has permission over what gets posted? Read more to find out!
I believe technology has enhanced the ability of global collaboration in educational settings. The ability to share exactly what we are teaching our students, and what our students are learning is at our finger tips. We can dive into other classrooms virtually, and they can dive into ours…if we let them. In my opinion its important to give students the choice, always asking if they would like their work shared. Students can begin to question, “why is it important to protect and navigate my online identity?” The article written by Tammi Sisk and Richard Stegman, focuses on how teachers can support students to create a positive online identity. Tools such as portfolios, blogs, Voice Thread and Google Apps for Education are suggested to teachers for students to showcase their learning in positive spaces. It is extremely important for students to understand that we can all have a digital identity, and if we are online then in fact we do have a digital identity. The real question is what type of identity are we portraying ourselves online. Students and teachers both need to recognize that showcasing learning and growing online is a way to highlight strengths and personality. Referring back to the article by Sisk and Stegman, they pose five questions educators can ask students to kick-start meaning conservations about online citizenship.
I believe sharing is caring. However, we need to be aware of the challenges that can come with documenting student learning online with others. It is about the approach we take to create online identities, understanding the depth of the digital world and how that can benefit and open up a world of opportunities for every student.
The article, Pros and Cons of Sharing Your Kids Photos Online shares a number of reason why we should be hesitant and protective about what we share about our students.
In conclusion, I do believe creating an online identity is important in this technological dependent society. Although there are some cons that could come from creating a digital identity, there are many pros to celebrating ourselves online. More ideas, more opportunity and more sharing are all benefits that come from creating online identities. It is important that students learn now because they are presented everyday with technology. They need to learn what it means to have a digital identity, and how to navigate it safely, effectively and positively.
With that, I will leave you with an interesting quote that may or may not make you scratch your head.
“Identity will be the most valuable commodity for citizens in the future, and it will exist primarily online.” – Eric Schmidt
Have a great week,