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Message from the President: Ryan Layton
Message from the President
A story was recently shared with me about a concerned parent. This parent was worried about the interactions between her child and a few others in the class. Feeling frustrated by what she was hearing, she wanted to share her thoughts with the parents of those kids that she felt were harassing her child. Instead of reaching out to the school as a mediator, she used a Facebook parent group and shared the names of those kids involved asking anyone who knew the families to pass on the message that she wanted to talk to them about what happened. When questioned about why she would post these names in such a forum, the parent indicated it wasn’t a big deal because it was a “private” group even though screenshots of her post were being circulated publicly amongst other parents at the school.
Stories like this are becoming more and more common. The idea of what is private has changed dramatically in our social media world. Technology has always been a promising tool in schools, but there are many perils and pitfalls that also exist. How can teachers ensure that they are creating a safe, caring, welcoming and respectful working and learning environment while still using technology as an effective tool?
EDUCATION is the key! If we want to ensure that the technological tools we use respect privacy and that our students remain productive and safe, then we must learn about the technology that is out there, how students are using it and the best practices associated with the implementation for education.
I encourage all educators in the Province of Alberta to visit http://mediasmarts.ca/ to learn about the current research being done in Canada and to access the Digital & Media Literacy guides available. With these tools we can safely implement technology in our classrooms, enhance the learning experience and connect students with each other and repositories of knowledge. Ultimately, we must show the example of what we are expecting of our students by being responsible in our own use of technology and modeling that behaviour.
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