Having recently had an ICT input on searching, researching and presenting we had a discussion about how crucial it is to teach children about internet safety. Technology has grown drastically over the years. I remember as a teenager my brother and I would argue about who had been on the internet for the longest or would complain when someone phoned on the house phone as it cut the internet off. It’s incredible to think that children will not experience these things anymore and everyone can be on the internet at the same time. Bearing this in mind many parents may not always know what their children are getting up to online, which can be scary. This is why it is essential as a teacher to know the ins and outs of internet safety to ensure this is passed on to the future generations. I used the website www.animoto.com to create a short video about internet safety. I found it extremely easy to navigate my way around animoto and believe I could use this as a resource in the classroom to allow children to present work.
Throughout the ICT input I learned a lot about searching the internet and how to make my searches more relevant. I am the type of person who just types in the search bar and relies on the top hits, I believe many people are. However, reflecting on this I am going to change my habits and dig deeper into finding the information I need to know. I find it fascinating that people can make websites that are completely untrue however, still make them look real and official. This gave me insight into how my habits need to change and I need to pay more attention into what I am reading. Looking through some of these websites I think it is beneficial for my career choice to show children these websites and allow them to analyse whether or not the information is true.
Having crept away from the thought of writing blog posts over the festive period, I have now taken the advice from my lecturer and looked at some of my fellow student’s blog posts. I have to admit I feel slightly embarrassed with myself in regards to the amount of blog posts others have done compared to myself. The blog posts I have read were extremely good and some lengthy compared to my own. This has given me the opportunity to evaluate my own work and realise I need to produce blog posts to a higher standard considering the profession I want to go into. I believe some of my posts have not had a great deal of thought or effort put into them, which looking back now is disappointing. I believe it is highly important to reflect upon situations whether this is a specific class that has been attended or a book that has been read. Bearing that in mind I am going to set myself the goal of creating a reflective blog post weekly and commenting on at least three fellow student’s blog posts.
Upon reading my fellow student’s blog posts I have established that my blog posts can appear to be quite boring. This is due to the fact that I have never inserted a picture or a video clip into any of my blog posts, the titles of my blog posts are uninspiring and would not appeal to people, the font and colour of the text always remains the same and I rarely use quotes or statements to support my view. My aim is to make my blog posts more appealing by changing all these aspects in order to inspire people to read my blog posts.
I believe that reading my fellow student’s blog posts has inspired me to become more creative with my blog and to engage more thoroughly. I believe that in writing a blog post weekly I can improve my confidence and prepare for assignments through reflecting on my learning.
What challenges/opportunities you may be faced with when marrying the personal vs the professional presence on social media?
I think in the profession of teaching you need to be extremely careful about how you act in the online world. Teachers are human and are entitled to have a life out with the classroom, which GTC Scotland recognise. However, teachers must also remember that what they post online can affect their career and that anything posted online is there for life even if you delete it from your account. There are various challenges teachers will come across with social media such as students/parents trying to add you as a friend and your own friends becoming unhappy that you are unwilling to let them tag you in a photo or status. I personally believe having just one account for both personal and professional life is much healthier as there is no confusion of which account you should be posting certain aspects of your life on. However, I believe teachers should make all aspects of their social media sites private and explain to friends that you have to protect your career so there are certain things which cannot be broadcasted to the online world. I believe that parents or even colleagues may question your decision to be using social media within the classroom as a teaching aide for children. However, as a teacher you need to be able to explain and justify the reasons why you are using these resources. Although some teachers may become sceptical of using their personal social media sites and expressing their opinions, I believe as long as it is done in a professional manner that is polite then this is acceptable.
How are the challenges/opportunities afforded by social media framed? How will you frame things – positive or deficit viewpoint?
The media has a greater role to play now than it ever has before, it can affect many professionals lives including those of teachers. The media grasp onto aspects of individuals lives and can interpret situations to be more extreme than what they are. There are many cases of teachers having inappropriate relationships with either pupils or colleagues, which all make the news headlines. However, we never see the healthy relationships between teachers and pupils in newspapers or online. This in my opinion shows how cruel the media can be to tear apart an individual’s life, I certainly do not agree with inappropriate relationships between teachers and pupils, but I do believe the media should focus on the healthy aspects of school life and promote a positive view of teachers rather than a negative one.
When I become a qualified teacher I would like to use technology within the classroom as I believe technology has vast amounts to teach children as well as myself. Children are growing up with technology from birth and this needs to be seen as an advantage for them rather than a negative effect that it will affect their learning, when in truth if used properly it can enhance their learning. I believe strongly that if you teach children about how to be safe on the internet then there should be no harm in using it to aide learning.
Although it is a hard task to achieve I believe people need to change their perception of social media and the online world understanding that this could enhance learning for all generations and see the internet as a positive place to learn.