This week’s readings were incredibly interesting to me. Sharing online is something I think about often. Internet Privacy is a topic that is coming up more and more often, whether at home or at school.
So much of our lives are lived online now, that Internet Privacy has a real impact in our day to day lives. In a recent survey, it was reported that we have grown our internet consumption by 105% in the last five years.
This chart doesn’t specify what the numbers started at and what they’ve risen to, but it is still accurate to say that, in general, we spend way more time online than ever before.
I know that I am online a lot. I use the Internet before going to work, I use the Internet at school often (attendance, marks, teaching tools/aids, classroom blogging, etc.) When I come home, I am, again, often online (websites, twitter, email, class, reading, etc.)
When online, a lot of the time I am sharing. We have, as a class, been trying to create our digital footprint. Here’s where things get dicey: when we are trying to create our own digital footprint, we have to be careful to not step on anyone else’s footprint.
This is a tricky thing and, I admit, I am guilty of taking photos in my classroom. I have a classroom blog, (in linking to it, I hope that I am not overstepping my own boundaries) which parents give permission for me to post photos on. I have a classroom blog that is updated daily. I include what we did at school and often have pictures of kids at school.
My goal for the blog is to get parents engaged in what is happening in our classroom. Too many times I’ve heard ‘when I ask what they did at school, I get a shrug, or they can’t remember.’ I started the blog as a way for parents, who are often apprehensive of starting French Immersion, to know what is being taught in the classroom. I often have a sentence saying ‘ask your child…’ or ‘get your child to show off their skills at…’ But then, you read about how “in the good old days” kids could go to camp, or school, without parents needing to know every little thing about them.
Most of the time, at least in the past couple of years, I have found that kids love showing what they are doing at school. I often have kids coming up to me, with their work or something they created at centre time, and ask for me to take a picture to either put on the blog or to share with their parents.
This definitely got me thinking. There is a fine line, to be sure, between sharing and sharing too much. One of the articles we read this week was kids telling parents “don’t post about me online.” I completely agree, if a student in my room does not want his or her picture taken, I do not put it online.
Perhaps a blog where most of the readers are parents (and sometimes grandparents) of the students in the class is not a good marker of privacy. The readership of my blog is very minimal, it is certainly not made to induce ‘fame‘ in my students.
Maybe what is needed is a checklist, similar to this one:
Before posting pictures online, perhaps we need to think about what we are posting and how it will affect students in the future, with their own digital footprint.