Data Privacy... alright... if I am completely honest... AGAIN this is something that completely confuses me. For multiple reasons.
Not only does moving jobs from country to country not help... but part of me seriously feels like it is "not my job" to read up on this. I didn't say act on this. I just said read up on this. I know it is my job to act on it... but there is no way all teachers should be expected to constantly know all of this information.
My feeling is that if a school is serious about this, they need to do the research and tell us what we do need to know. Or involve us in the heavy lifting. Make it clear. They need to vet the apps, tools, and websites (based on teacher requests from what they know they need), if they are concerned about the student data attached to them and then train teachers in what they are/are not allowed to do. This even includes sharing on social media. I know many schools have rules about faces being shown, etc. which of course is great. But in my experience this usually comes out of the woodworks after they realize something is "wrong" in someone's eyes... or something actually goes wrong.
I was teaching in Switzerland just as GDPR was becoming a large, important issue. I feel the school tackled it relatively well. We worked together and discussed what certain elements might mean, and what protocols might need to be in place in order to be GDPR compliant. But I was only there for one year. I would hope most schools go through a similar process, but feel like after that initial year of creation is done... it gets a little more hidden and hard for incoming staff to fully understand.
I also have a bone to pick with photos... at one of my previous schools, a student decided to use staff photos from the school website, create a fake school Instagram account, and write things about the teachers. This was caught quickly but it was still out there. Should teacher photos be on the school website? Shouldn't we at least have a choice and give consent like students/guardians do? In this case I did not.
Another thing.. and maybe I'm flip-flopping in my opinion here... but I guess that is an example of some of my confusion. Maybe this isn't as straight forward as officials make it sound. Bringing it back toJennifer Casa-Todd again from last week, I often think about this imposed censorship of students. If, as we say, our students WILL be "Googled" before university, or before getting a job... should we be sensoring their good, hard, positive, dedicated work? Should we not have their name and photo on their collaborative projects from around the world? On the active stance they are taking in their community? On the academic blog post or the creative story they are writing? Personally, I feel a track record of these things can only be good in the eyes of a recruiter or employer. But of course there is still the safety and child protection side. While this post by Monster is more on the side of employers viewing negative things on your social media, I can still side with Casa-Todd in that having positive things turn up in a search would be amazing.
I am an avid Twitter-er. I have ebbs and flows of posting my own experiences of course. I feel these mainly come from feeling inspired/not, comfortable/uncomfortable (both good reasons to share!), seeking feedback, and just general sharing of things we are doing in the studio that I think are useful and that others will enjoy. It can be hard to cut student emotion out of these photos sometimes. They become a lot less inspiring, in my eyes. But of course I understand that I need to protect my students.
I also can say with almost certainty that Twitter has helped me get the job I have today. Again, that goes back to the fact of posting positively in your field and having your future employers be able to access that side of you. It is like a portfolio of authentic examples (albeit usually only the positive ones) of who you are as a teacher. I, for one, want my name and photo attached to that.
And... I guess the final reason is just that I find it BORING to think about, talk about, write about (sorry, COETAIL!) and sometimes even do.
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