Evidence: Mind42 resource package with risk analysis
Develop emergent expertise with at least one social media tool for education.
Develop 2-3 developmentally appropriate activities for tool.
Create content for student training to address tool use and management of risks
Develop and design intentional learning activities suitable for the appropriate environment and the learner
When asking students to use a digital tool it is important to not only analyze the tool with a few potential lessons in mind but to perform a risk assessment and policy alignment check of the tool. Once done, a student user agreement for students to sign outline all the information needs to be generated.
In my teaching practice, I really like to use mind-maps so students can see the key concepts and connections in a topic. Generally I ask students to create the mind-maps as part of their on-line class. One of the mind-map sites I like to use is Mind42.com. For this site I created a comprehensive resource package. As I teach adult learners, all information is aimed for that age group and no parental permission has been included.
Evidence: Paper: Digital Boundaries & Social Media
Understand functional contexts & constraints, employment considerations, privacy tensions, BC legal, school policies/procedures, professional ethics
Scaffold digital citizenship from K-12 to professional level of educators
Responsibility, accountability and civility in online environment
Sometimes it is so easy to lecture, PowerPoint or use chalk on a blackboard in the classroom. One problem is it can be boring, the same thing over and over again. There is a fantastic world available through the internet with all sorts of resources, learning apps and communities. Students are going to the internet on their own for learning, so why not bring the world in to the classroom. The problem? If, as an educator, you are asking students to go on-line, you have the responsibility of informing them of the risks that exist as well as how their digital footprint can be affected (or even that they have a digital footprint).
Educators also have legal (and ethical) consideration when their students go on-line. Unfortunately many educators are not aware of their legal responsibilities. OLTD 506 really opened my eyes to the legal requirements of B.C. and Canada, as well as the the responsibilities around informing students of the risks and about their digital footprint and how that can be potentially affected.
I teach in a blended class. The first day in-person after the first on-line class, like many other semesters, were full of excuses as to why the assignment could not be completed. Most were about computer troubles and connectivity issues. My standard response is to students that they can complete the assignments in the university library as there is twenty-four hour access, seven days a week. The readings of this topic has challenged some of my thinking. I was unaware that there were such large gaps in technology access, a digital-divide between have and have-nots, in Canada (Harris, 2013), especially among Aboriginal peoples (Taylor, 2011).
While on average, 86 per cent of people in BC have internet access (Statistics Canada, 2013), a person is more likely to use the internet if they have a higher income bracket and have some university. Those that have the lowest income or are lacking a high school diploma are among the least likely to use the internet (Harris, 2013). Thus the internet is still, to some extent, for the privileged. As I teach Adult Basic Education (ABE) this presents a challenge for me as many of my students have not completed high school and many are low income suggesting that they have potential connectivity issues and may not be as digitally fluent.
While Aboriginal learners are graduating from high school in greater numbers, “only 54 per cent of Aboriginal learners in the public system graduate from high school … compared to 83 per cent of non-Aboriginal learners” (British Columbia, 2012, pg. 6) thus tend to be over represented in ABE (British Columbia, 2012). One solution is to increase the amount of blended and on-line courses which would allow them to remain in their community (British Columbia, 2012) but the three main reasons for the digital divide “poverty, low levels of income and broadband” (Taylor, 2011, pg. 29) still persist and would need to be addressed.
British Columbia. (2012). Aboriginal post-secondary education and training policy framework and action plan: 2020 Vision for the future. Victoria, B.C.: Ministry of Advanced Education
Harris, M. (2013, March 21). Digital divide persists in Canada, both in access and Internet fluency. Financial Post. Retrieved from http://business.financialpost.com/2013/03/21/digital-divide-persists-in-canada-both-in-access-and-internet-fluency/?__lsa=542b-c824
Statistics Canada. (2013). “Canadian internet use survey, 2012”. The Daily. November 26. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-011-X.
Taylor, A. (2011). Social media as a tool for inclusion: Final research report. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Retrieved from http://www.homelesshub.ca/ResourceFiles/Taylor_Social%20Media_feb2011%20(1)_1_2.pdf
Recently I have become aware of a few facts about privacy in British Columbia. I knew B.C. had strict laws and that FIPPA (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) was important. As I teach adults, not children, I thought that I didn’t have to worry more than being careful about what I shared online. According to Hengstler’s (2014) on the FIPPA compliance continuum I was firmly in ignorance, aware of the concept, unaware of the details or how it applied to me.
My first step to deepening my understanding of BC’s privacy laws was to go to the document itself. I discovered that a public entity must store personal information collected in Canada unless consent is given and the information must be kept safe from unauthorized use (FIPPA, 1996). Fortunately, the university where I teach has been working hard to ensure compliance as employers have a “responsibility to inform educators of their FIPPA responsibilities” (Hengstler, 2014, pg. 4).
While I understood that those who work with children must be concerned about privacy as any digital information could present a risk (Hengstler, 2013); I work with adults. There is the belief that only those adults who have something to hide need privacy, a belief which is deeply flawed (Solove, 2007) as everyone needs to know how to protect themselves on-line (Cooper, Southwell & Portal, 2011). Individual privacy is usually threatened in slow, small steps as data is ‘mined’ from a number of sites and aggregated (Solove, 2007).
The Vancouver Island University (VIU) Privacy Guide (Cooper, Southwell & Portal, 2011) shows that I am not doing enough to ensure my students’ privacy. As some on-line assignments require students to give personal information, I should have them complete a student user agreement and a student consent agreement (Cooper, Southwell & Portal, 2011). Fortunately the VIU Privacy guide has some samples. Regulations and laws are constantly evolving as technology and risks evolve (Hengstler, 2013). It is important the educators and their employers are kept up-to-date on current best practice.
Cooper, S., Southwell, J., & Portal, P. (2011). Privacy Guide for Faculty Using 3rd Party Web Technology (Social Media) in Public Post-Secondary Courses. Vancouver Island University & BC Campus Publication. Retrieved from https://www.viu.ca/foipop/documents/Privacy_Guide_SocialMedia_Cloud_PostSecondary_Classes_2011.pdf
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, RSBC 1996, c.165, online: BC Laws: Current Consolidated Law < http://www.bclaws.ca/Recon/document/ID/freeside/96165_00>.
Hengstler, J. (2013, May 17). A K-12 primer for British Columbia teachers posting students’ work online. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://jhengstler.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/a-k-12-primer-for-british-columbia-teachers-posting-students-work-online/
Hengstler, J. (2014). The Compliance Continuum: FIPPA & BC Educators. Retrieved from https://www.dropbox.com/s/ridcqq14a7k9543/Compliance_Continuum_5_06_14-1.pdf
Solove, D. (2007). “I’ve got nothing to hide” and other misunderstandings of privacy. San Diego Law Review, 44, 745-772
In teacher training, I learned about professional standards and how teachers were held to a higher standard than the average person. We studied about appropriate behaviour in and out of the workplace and how the morals of a community would affect your teaching career. Recently I deepened my understanding on this topic. Supreme Court Judge Justice Bouck (as cited in Covert, 1993) ruled “that teacher conduct should be judged by the standards recognized in the community where the teachers are employed” and “teachers must not only be competent, they are expected to lead by example” (pg. 441). Thus appropriate behaviour, as deemed by the community or school, should be expected at all times, even when the teacher is not at work (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2014).
My teacher training occurred when the internet was at its infancy. Today educators must not only consider their actions in and out of school also their on-line presence. I am fortunate that my exposure to social networking platforms happened as an adult rather than as a child or teen. Young people generally lack developed reasoning skills and have “started posting when their impulse control, long range projections and overall mature thought processes were barely emerging” (Hengstler, 2010, para 3). This can have unfortunate implications for today’s youth as the misdeeds of today can have digital permanency affecting them in the future (Kuehn, 2010).
One aspect of my digital footprint that I had not considered is that I may be judged based on the friends I have or groups to which I belong. Hengstler (2012) calls this the “birds of a feather effect” (slide 32), in which the character of my friends is seen to be a reflection of my own character. What I write may be perfectly appropriate but what my on-line community says may not. People could then form an opinion about my character based on comments or images of which I am unaware (Kuehn, 2010). Being held to a higher, professional standard in the community requires awareness of online behavior and connections, not just in-person.
British Columbia Ministry of Education. (2014). Standards for education, competence, and professional conduct of educators in BC. Retrieved from: http://www.bcteacherregulation.ca/Standards/StandardsDevelopment.aspx
Covert, J. (1993). Creating a professional standard of moral conduct for Canadian teachers: a work in progress. Canadian Journal of Education, 18(4) 429-445. Retrieved from: http://www.csse-scee.ca/CJE/Articles/FullText/CJE18-4/CJE18-4-11Covert.pdf
Hengstler, J. (2010, October 28). “Fleas in a bottle? Will social networking stymie personal development of youth?’ [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://jhengstler.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/fleas-in-a-bottle-will-social-networking-stymie-personal-development-of-youth/
Hengstler, J. (2012). Digital professionalism and digital footprints [PDF document]. Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online Web site: https://d2l.viu.ca/content/enforced/56545-EDUC_OLTD506_W70_F2014/foundations_boundaries/Digital%20Professionalism%20%20Digital%20Footprints%20Final.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=DxflGZQjxgHfo2KLdrB6vzKM9&ou=56545
Kuehn, L. (2010). “Manage your digital footprint”. Teacher Newsmagazine (23)3. Retrieved from http://bctf.ca/publications/NewsmagArticle.aspx?id=21794
In my personal, professional, and educational life I use various Social Networking Platforms (SNP). According to Wikipedia (Social Networking Service, 2014) SNP are a place to build networks or relationships, connecting people with similar interests or activities. These usually global platforms often have modules (or apps) that allows users control to join or form groups with common interests (Social Networking Service, 2014). SNP are the tools that allows virtual social interaction, what is generally thought of as social media, to happen (Wikipedia, 2014). There are a range of types of social media such as collaborative wikis, blogs, content-driven communities, networking sites, games, and virtual social worlds but the lines between these types are becoming increasingly blurred (Social Media, 2014).
I have used SNP personally for a number of years, Facebook and Instagram being the two primary ones. In my readings I discovered that social media through SNP are an extraordinary way to connect with people all over the world who share similar concerns. Indeed when I performed an analysis of where my friends were, I was surprised as there were more countries represented than I thought.
More recently I have started using SNP both in my professional and educational life. In my reading I discovered one aspect of social media and SNP that I had not previously considered. Groups are formed based on common interests and ideas which can thus limit exposure to other ideas and ways of being, a form of social isolation (Social Media, 2014). Policies of the SNP that choose what news stories are in a person’s news feed, such as is done by Facebook, only emphasize this limiting of exposure. Recently Facebook manipulated news-feed to affect the emotions of users (Kramer, Guillory & Hancock, 2014). As an educator, this idea emphasizes the need to use a variety of social media in class to ensure students are exposed to a variety of idea and thought.