This week I have had the amazing opportunity to begin learning with Jennifer Casa-Todd and Adam Hill in their new 4-week course "Empowered Digital Leaders."
We have yet to have our face to face meetings online to discuss the week, but I am more of a writer than a talker (I see you, Adam!) so I am going to take this opportunity to reflect on the week.
As I work with primary school students, this really stuck out to me because I feel like social media is often overlooked because our students are "too young." I am not of that opinion. I feel like releasing the responsibility is important, and we know they are likely to have social media before they are 13, so starting young (grade 3 or 4, even) is important.
The shared experience, teaching them concepts like responsibility, perspective, and respect is important. Modeling to them how to leverage social media in positive ways before they are sucked in to social pressures could be key. Are they too young to have their own account? absolutely. Are they too young to experience using social media responsibly with a group of peers and an adult they trust? No.
Perspective is so important when talking about social media. For all ages.
Remembering that everyone online (and in person) has different opinions, beliefs, values, and experiences they bring to the table and conversations. A difference of opinions is normal, but we need to react and behave in a respectful manner no matter what. Exposing students to situations where they need to maybe suppress some reactions and reply kindly could be beneficial. Also talking about the idea of screening comments and just simply not approving posts where people are not discussing/debating in a respectful way. Perspective is key, just as it would be in a classic debate.
I would really like to explore this this year. I work in a collaborative studio model so have the opportunity to interact with around 100 grade 4 students, not just my own 20. I know I have had students in the past with a strong online presence, and while I showed some interest, I didn't really probe or see if we could use it as an example, or even see if he was being respectful or positive. I might be surprised at the ripple effect if I dig a little deeper this year.
Besides exploring the notes and ideas above...
All of my recent blog posts are on my COETAIL Blog for that course. That is fine, and it is getting me to blog more regularly, but I would also like to make more time for blogging about things inspired by my own setting.
A big thanks to Adam and Jennifer for allowing me to learn with them in this course. I am looking forward to the discussions coming soon and the next few weeks digging deeper.
Passionate Canadian PYP Teacher in Vietnam