During my time in the schools over the past two years I have heard numerous students talking about their YouTube channels; whether it was with me or with their classmates. This always concerned me. I was growing up in a time when technology was making its large advances. I remember YouTube being a new and cool place on the internet. I also know how much it frightened my parents and teachers. It was no place for kids. There was absolutely no webcam allowed, and we were not to show our face anywhere on the internet. This was not long ago.
It is completely unrealistic to expect our students to stay off of the internet. But, I do still have some of the fears that were instilled in me as I was growing up. The video: An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube opened my eyes to the creative possibilities of our students. The original content on YouTube is amazing, as spoken about in the video. The opportunity to do this is something I do not want to take away from my students, however, there are many things students need to be taught before they begin their online identity.
When your child turns sixteen and gets their license, you don’t hand them the keys to the car without teaching them road safety first. So, why are we handing them digital devices without teaching them online safety first? After doing some research, I found a great website with resources for teachers on cyber safety called Cybersafe BC. However, it is important to remember what Katia said in lecture about teaching cyber safety. Our students are going to be on technology regardless of what we say, so there is not point in trying to scare them away from it. Instead we need to be teaching them how to use it properly.
It is really amazing what we have available to as teachers now. We have endless access to resources for us and our students. This has definitely changed the classroom/school environment. With Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers we can easily share resources and plan awesome lessons. We can also find resources for a more inclusive classroom, resources for differentiated learning, and we can communicate over far distances to enhance learning. I love the access we have to all our technology, but the education component is crucial.
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