Connecting and Learning Online

I have found that sharing information online can have a huge impact on a person, whether it be negatively or positively. Having the opportunity to create and share new ideas opens up such a vast variety of information to learn, and to take what we have learned and expand upon that learning. As a future teacher, I want my students to use technology and learn information, that maybe I would to provide the resources for or maybe not have the time to share with them.

One of the biggest most meaningful thing that we can teach our students is HOW to research new information on their own, and continue to share this information by blogging, tweeting or using other forms of social media. However, sometimes these social media devices have a downside, they be used for alternative motives, and especially with young people we have to teach them to protect themselves using this type of technology.

I recently watched a video on the positives of what it means to share and create on social media. George Curos, a fellow educator himself, describes what it means to be able to share your ideas on social media and create and share on social media. Even the smallest means of communication, like sharing something about your life (if only completely  appropriate) can boost morale and teach others to communicate and share kindness.

So how can we teach our students that their so beloved social media can be wonderful, but at the same time could very much be harmful? We have seen cases where people falsify who they are on the internet, and they lure young people to meet and aren’t who the young person thought they were. It creates a very dangerous world. We have also seen cases where students are putting TOO much information on social media sites, and are cause for cyber-bullying, or falsifying their own lives. Sometimes young people don’t realize the impact of their posts. Job employers, judges, police, teachers, and other important influences in a community has clear access of these postings and may cause them to not get that job, to get arrested, or may ruin their changes of getting into a good college.

This video frames the importance of what you put on social media, it lasts forever. So what can I teach my students about how to post appropriate meaningful information that promotes learning? Well, in Craig Badura’s “Digital Citizen Survival Kit” he makes an analogy to toothpaste and posting on social media. We can show our students that once the words are out (the toothpaste is out of the tube) they cannot be put back in (we can’t place toothpaste back in the tube). What we say is out there forever. So we have to think is it meaningful? Who does it support? What can be learned or said about it? Does it support positive, kind communication? Another one is; what would my parents say about this information, or a future employer or even my teacher?

I love that we can use social media’s as teachers to share and learn new ideas and information, and show each other positive support in academic careers and ventures. I am so eager to share this new found personal learning network with my students and show them what a positive communicative and supportive social learning network can mean.

It’s not just students that need to learn how to be careful about social media, but adults and teachers as well. I have taken the challenge of Googling myself to see what information comes up. The first thing that comes up is my Twitter, and Facebook accounts. The only information that it shows is my picture and where I live, and what college I go too. Probably too much information for strangers, but I do have proper privacy settings on both social medias so I feel comfortable in knowing this. Also, I don’t feel that my profiles are inappropriate in any way and everything posted is something that I might share with employers and other family members.

My blog also comes up, but everything on my blog is written to reflect learning and is completely appropriate and encouraged, that others read and reflect on the information.

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