Social Media and surveillance of students online

Social media is ruining childhood

Most people look back on their childhood or at least their generation’s childhood and have a belief that those younger than them are growing up in a worse generation. It is easy to point fingers at social media and the increase of cyber bullying with 1 in 5 teens saying they have suffered online abuse.But as we debated in class, social media is also helping expand students’ knowledge and group of support. If a child was living in a small town with old views they may be able to use social media to expand their world view and find people similar to them outside of their area. On the other side they are able to find people that are catfishing them and may cause more illness related to depression and anxiety. Social media is the double edge sword of safety and connecting with people. 

For schools, social media could help with education (the downsides of this is argued in the second debate). Discussed in the article Exploring the Potential Benefits of Using Social Media in Educationthe different areas of how social media can improve education including…

  • Communication and Collaboration- we examined this in EDTC 300 and looking at the pros of using twitter within the classroom.
  •  Finding Concrete Information Online- social media (if students have taught about how to find strong researched news) can be a way for students to start research and find how different people view current news. 
  •  Parental Involvement- share information about school and highlight parts of activities/projects that is happening at school. 
  •  Improved Literacy, Communication, And Reading Skills- I would not rely on social media to improve literacy skills because there is very poor writing techniques online but it can be helpful for students to find important formation or students can show the main idea because they only have a certain amount of characters. 
  • Distance Learning Opportunities- as we discussed in class- social media has help students stay touch with their peers and learn different online skills. 

Surveillance of student data and online activities by school systems is necessary to ensure student safety

How far is too far when watching students’ online activity?

It is simple to say that online tracing will help schools be more aware of students and if issues are arising. A survey shows that online tracking can help prevent school shootingand I assume suicides. I think it is great but even as a teacher I am not aware of what my students are tracked  on and what I am being examined on. Based on a discussion with other employees in my division I have found that my division is really strict about blocking websites. There are different systems that block searches and websites, one that is used for keeping a log of when people log in and what they did online and one system that watches of trigger words. Though the division does keep record of all of this it is only used if there is a need such as a drastic change in behavior or a student brings forward an issue.  

My thought is for students who do choose to message each other the social media platforms (outside of normal text message or What’s Up) are blocked. Would allowing social media apps on wifi and websites on school computers make it easier to bully each other or would it make them feel trusted. The article Should Schools Monitor Students’ Social Media Accounts?explains the importance of parents being aware of what a student is doing and should talk action not the schools. I think if parents were more involved that problems could be identified faster or would parents want to rely on the school if they did not know what to do. I think it is way too far though for parents to have weekly updates on their child’s online usage. As Jesse mentioned within class, students may be searching about different things that their parents or the school board may not agree with. If a student is researching things involving LGBTQ+ matters or religious views they may not feel comfortable doing it on their parent’s/family electronic devices so instead do it at school so being sent their online usage would make it so the child does not have a safe place. 

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