"Public vs. Private – Should Student Work Be Public On the Web?"
I came across this article on Twitter recently. Should students post work publicly online?
I am a firm believer that the answer is yes, so I wanted to see what information this post offered on the topic.
I've captured my favorite part of this article below.
I agree completely with what positive aspects of publishing work that this article mentions. The society our students are growing up in is one where "likes," "retweets," and "followers" determine how successful your post was at reaching others. How does hanging a piece of writing on the wall of a building match the world the students see outside of the classroom?
I am aware that publishing online means that student work can be accessed by others. That is exactly the point. I want my students to create work that is meaningful. I want students to have a chance to share their voice with the world.
I also know that students are posting and sharing online, whether I allow them to do so in my class or not. I think it is important that I prepare my students for this world and give them the tools to contribute in a positive manner. If we shelter our students from ever posting anything publicly, can we really blame them when they don't use the ability appropriately?
The incorporation of technology into the classroom exposes students to different security issues than we may previously had to deal with. The reality of the dangers accessible through the computer are real, but they should not deter teachers from utilizing technology. It is important to protect students and teach them responsible us while working online.
Two important documents for educators to be familiar with are CIPA and COPPA. CIPA is the Children's Internet Proection Act (Guide can be found here), and COPPA is Children's Online Protection Privacy Act. COPPA terms can be found here, and a document on how to comply with COPPA is also published here.
CIPA requires school systems to restrict access to specific content online. The limits often err on the side of caution which means blocked access to useful sites. I believe that moderating access to sites is important, but it is also important to teach responsible use. Instead of removing student access from sites like YouTube, we should instead teach students to be responsible users of such content.
"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." -Pablo Picasso
"Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively." -Dalai Lama XIV
"It's not about breaking the rules. It is about abandoning the concept of rules altogether." -Paul Lemberg
"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun!" -Mary Lou Cook
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -Albert Einstein
"If I'd observed all the rules, I'd never have got anywhere." -Marilyn Monroe
What I love about all of these quotes is not that I have the desire to lead a rebellion against all rules, but that all of these phenomenal thinkers and creators realize that you have to think beyond what others do in order to make a change. As we teach our students to be critical thinkers, my ultimate goal is for students to begin to questions norms and rules, and think instead about potential, based on what they have learned.
Today was the start of a new technology movement at my school; students received BYOT permission slips for a 4th and 5th grade pilot.
BYOT - Bring Your Own Technology (sometimes BYOD - "device")
My students are so excited. They wanted to know when they could bring the device in, how many devices was the limit, and why did we wait so long to start?? (I assured them that the one device they were allowed to bring it would be plenty, and we should be grateful that the pilot didn't start next school year when we would all be gone!)
So why am I excited? "Aren't you afraid of privacy, students wasting time, posting inappropriate things, etc."
When we discuss student misuse of technology, I always wonder about when, if ever, the student was taught about responsible use. The reality of the world our students live in is that technology will continue to enhance the way we live, whether we want to embrace it or not.
I believe it is my role to prepare students to not only be educated and knowledgable but equipped to face the world beyond my classroom.
Based in Doha currently, I am a technology-advocating learning junkie.