This week, our group discussed the concept of online / digital identities within the umbrella of digital citizenship. I felt our group did a great job of presenting a variety of viewpoints when analyzing our digital identities.
Rae looked at Dr. Alec Couros‘ video Article #4, Brenda discussed young people’s social media interactions here Article #5, and Kate-Lynn showed us Article #3 which looks to define digital citizenship and identities. I took a look at the teacher digital identities and a quick video for students to look at digital footprints here: Article #1 Article #2
When I think back to my experiences with digital citizenship, I think of those sad sad Facebook status updates… before the “like” button…
The best thing that ever happened to Facebook was the creation of “Memories” where I could go in and delete stupid posts from yesteryear.
I did not have any digital citizenship lessons or guidance, and as a young person learning a digital world, it is easy to find questionable things posted on the internet. Luckily, I never said anything inappropriate or anything that could really come back to haunt me.
I think back to some of the discussions from EC&I 831 when looking at social media in the classroom. One of the rich discussions we had during class revolved around what should be considered when we look at people’s past. Should there be a Statute of Limitations when it comes to social media posts?
My online presence is fairly fake. I only say fake because I do not post very often, and anything that I do post is a big event or vacation with quality pictures that makes it look like I have a better social life than I really do (lol). My Twitter is pretty clean, Facebook has been tidied up and I rarely post, Instagram is locked down and also cleaned up to show only the best of the best. I use Snapchat to communicate with friends and family and I am only a spectator on TikTok… except for my Summary of Learning for EC&I831 where Victoria and I created TikToks to express our learning.
My students have a variety of social media platforms as well, and their digital identities are capturing more of their life than mine has been captured. When we talk about digital citizenship in class, I wonder how positive their interactions really are. As teachers, we usually only see the worst of the worst when things get out of hand online and we are involved to help mediate problems. I have seen some interesting things from my students online and I wonder if/how/when that will come back to bite them in the future. I agree when Alec says that we all make mistakes as kids, but up until now, these mistakes have never been recorded and saved…
I think young people really need to understand the long-term implications of their actions online. It takes the whole concept of adolescence feeling invincible to a whole new level. Screenshots, data collection, and words are saved forever and without the proper guidance, they are bound to make serious mistakes, and even with guidance, the long-term implications may be bleak.
It can be hard as a teacher to relinquish that control, as problems are bound to happen whether we collect every phone every day, or let them sit on their devices all day. I believe this record of information will be one of the greatest challenges of our youth today. Thoughts??
Thanks for reading!