Being a Good Citizen

For most of the semester, we have been exploring what it means to be digitally literate and what that means as a teacher. In today’s society, technology is old news, so it’s important for technology to be integrated into the classroom as well, but what happens after we (teachers) and students are digitally literate? Should we only teach them how to master technology? It shouldn’t stop there.If we teach digital literacy to our students, we must also teach them digital citizenship.

Whether we like it or not, students use technology way more outside of the classroom than inside. They are checking a plethora of social media accounts before school, at lunch, in between classes, when their teacher aren’t paying attention, after school, etc. They tweet, share, favorite, like, post way more than their teachers and they realize. With this constant obsession with social media comes negative aspects as well. Teenagers in today’s society are prone to a type of bullying different than any other that came before: cyberbullying. Before the rise of technology, bullies had to vocally insult and their victims. Today, it is much easier to be cruel using social media. These websites also gives people an easy opportunity to witness unkind behavior and take no action.

What does this mean for my classroom? Well, I think if we are integrating technology and social media into the classroom, we should also teach students how to act while they are using it. This can begin as early as students start school, but at this age, students probably aren’t active on social media. By the time they get into my class (middle school or high school), they will most likely be active on multiple social media websites, which makes their knowledge of digital citizenship even more important. It takes little effort to learn almost everything about a person through their social media accounts, and what is posted is almost always permanent. Juan Enriquez talked about the long-lasting nature of social media posts by comparing them to tattoos. Tattoos give a representation of who you are, and social media activity does too. Would students like the electronic tattoos they have given themselves? Do they even realize they have done so?

This brings me to the question: should teachers be friends with their students on Facebook or follow their students on Instagram or Twitter? Katherine Sokolowski, a seventh grade teacher, allows her students to follow her on Instagram, so she can be a positive influence in their lives. I think that is a great idea. There is a lot of negative aspects and dangers in technology and especially social media, and students could use a positive role model on their feed reminding them how to portray themselves on social media.

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“If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t Exist.”

Quote by Jimmy Whales

Throughout middle school, I and my classmates loved Googling ourselves to pass the time. Since we were so young, not many links or pictures that we found were actually about us, but we would see what other random things would turn up. Since, middle school, I haven’t spent much time doing this, so I was excited to see what has been added about myself to Google throughout the years.

To begin this task, I simply typed “Timmi Keisel” into Google. The first link that popped up took me to the Chadron State 2016 volleyball roster. Here I saw a few pictures from the season as well as some of my stats. The next link took me to my Facebook page. Although I check it more than I’m proud of, I don’t post much. My pages consists almost entirely of posts and pictures I am tagged in (by my mom mostly). The next couple websites were MaxPreps (showing my high school volleyball and basketball stats), an article about my signing to play volleyball at Chadron State College, and some of my social media sites (both Twitter accounts and my Instagram account). Over the past eight weeks, I have been the most active on the Twitter account for this class, and I haven’t even looked at my other account for a few months. I occasionally post (always appropriate) pictures on Instagram as well. Adding my middle name to the search uncovered newspaper articles about my high school graduation as well as a few family members’ obituaries who shared my middle name (Anne). I also explored my name in Google Images, and nothing too shocking appeared. I found countless pictures from high school sports, a few from FBLA, one picture of me as homecoming queen, and a few pictures relating to Chadron volleyball. I found some pictures of my sister playing sports as well as some other family members too.

From just a quick search, possible employers will learn that I was very active in extracurricular activities, especially athletics, in high school and that I play collegiate volleyball. I haven’t ever had a huge presence on social media, so my different accounts shouldn’t hinder my employment process.

Because technology has been integrated into most of society’s daily lives, it is critical for people to be conscious of their online presence. This may be even more critical in education. I have heard many teachers debate over whether or not they should be friends with or follow their students on social media. Some of my old teachers don’t mind being friends with their students to be updated on extracurricular events they participate in while others think it is inappropriate until their students graduate. Either way, teachers have a great responsibility in their online identity because they are looked up to as role models. If a teacher is posting rude or inappropriate things online, how can different behavior be expected of students?

 

I have included some of the Google images that came up if anyone is curious!

Journal Advocate1

Photo By: Journal Advocate

Chadron State College Athletics

Photo By: Chadron State College Athletics

Journal Advocate

Photo By: Journal Advocate

South Platte Sentinel

Photo By: South Platte Sentinel