(This post is paraphrased from a response given as part of a Web 2 in the IB classroom course. The original material is private therefore I cannot share it here)
I have been part of some interesting online discussions recently about students and what we should be encouraging/allowing them to post online. This is an important discussion to be having in our schools, and classrooms and with teh wider community. We need to find a balance between providing 21C learning opportunities for educators and their students and maintaining privacy through effective digital citizenship. I do not have a real problem with students putting related personal information online, within guidelines, as I fully believe we should be encouraging this and promoting best practice digital footprints/portfolios globally. There is no real point in hiding, the students deserve to have a global audience and to be learning how to manage this online identity. I believe this concept of what is 'personal information' has now evolved. In our flat classroom projects we do not encourage last names or telephone numbers, however in a recent project one classroom posted full student names. When queried the teacher informed us the parents had all given permission for this information to go online (an enlightened school? Does it really matter?).
Emerging technologies allow others to find out about 'us' in many and varied ways. The important aspect to this is for students to understand how this works and, guided by their parents and teachers, be able to make their own decisions about what is public and what is private.
YouTube are VERY good now at taking material down if it breaches copyright. There was also a great segment on Click Online (Did you know they have over 1.7 million followers on Twitter??)this week about a blogger who has his account deleted because Google claimed he had breached copyright too many times. Copyright vs Fair Use is also another conversation that MUST be happening in schools and classrooms.
There are some further resources that you may wish to read about this:
- Navigate the Digital Rapids - article written by my colleague Vicki Davis and myself for the ISTE magazine this year, quote: "Digital citizenship is far more than digital literacy, just as 21st-century skills encompass much more than simply "skills." Digital citizenship is not about creating a list of things to do or a stagnant curriculum that you can use for the next 10 years. It's about transforming yourself into a professional who can effectively research technology trends, monitor the uses of technology in your school or district, avoid the fear factor that can easily paralyze you, and empower student-centered learning to create vibrant, exciting learning projects."
- Microsoft Safety brochures and fact sheets - also includes down loadable handouts by Vicki, Suzie Nestico and me
- Personal Learning Networks are Virtual Lockers for School Kids - an older article in Edutopia, also if you search Vicki Davis in Edutopia more items like this will be found
- a Common Craft video I just found this week: Protecting Reputation Online in Plain English a MUST watch video in all classrooms and staffrooms!
- I encourage you to explore the work of Andrew Churches, especially Digital Citizen AUP for Younger Students, Andrew has asked for feedback on this also.
What is your school's position on putting personal information online? What about putting their learning online through a digital portfolio? At BISS we are exploring digital portfolios and have completed a pilot implementation, with a full implementation starting next year for Grades 6-10. More about this in a future blog post, I am working on this now!