I have been racking my brain all week about the best way to integrate social media into my classroom in an authentic and meaningful way. I have decided to work towards social media integration in my classroom as I feel this will be the best use of my time and actively benefit my teaching, classroom management, and pedagogical growth.
Thus far this year we have used Twitter in a Canadian Art analysis and painting project…
… where students found a piece that spoke to them and used it as motivation to create their own Canadian landscape. We have not come to a place where my students have Twitter or have communicated with the artists or page at all, but in time, that is a place I would like to get to.
I love social media. I do not post often but do enjoy consuming content on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and (very recently, due to peer pressure) TikTok.
Consuming content may be problematic here, but it is true. Even “original” content is still dubbed over with filters, voices, and prompts to get more viewers. The creators of TikTok have created a platform for cookies to be used to dictate what a follower will see and therefore the algorithm is truly in control of the content viewed. This is kind of cool, but also equally as scary. My dad loves the algorithm because he gets to see more and more golf and cooking tips (that is the cool part), the scary part is if you continue only viewing content about how climate change or Covid is a hoax, then you are never given an alternative point of view (that is the scary part).
It leads back to the Social Dilemma, where we only receive content that we want to see, however we miss out on opposing views and ideologies when we only view and experience the narrative that best fits us. This is starkly different than the social media I began using in high school. Facebook was new and exciting and eventually even got Twitter as well. At the time, there was limited discussion about the impacts of social media and digital footprints, so it took me years to clean and tidy up posts, comments, shared or retweeted posts, and so on. Fortunately, I had never really said or posted anything that could be damaging to my career, but it became abundantly clear when I began approaching internship and career opportunities that a clean “Google Search” of myself was imperative.
Going forward, students today need to have proper education on digital citizenship, stewardship, and what their digital footprint looks like. Often, I have found some of my students post or share inappropriate content that sometimes gets them in trouble with the police or school administration, and these situations could be damning to students as they begin looking for part-time jobs and eventually careers within the next decade. Is there a statute of limitations that we should follow when it comes to what a person has posted or shared in the past? I think of some of the images posted about our current federal leader and how many people are okay with it because it happened 20 years ago. Thoughts? Comment below!