Well folks, technology exists whether we like it or not! Therefore, as teachers, considering we spend more time with students than they sometimes do with their own families… we need to use technology as teachable moments to facilitate proper technology use. I do see some of the concerns that come with technology but I think we need to embrace it! Just the other day I was on a school bus with my class and one boy had his phone to play a game while his friend sat beside him. His friend inquired if he could play the a game afterwards to which he agreed. Once the round was over, the student passed his phone to his friend. Then instantly, I watched this student go into a panic. He said, “Mrs. Ortman oh my gosh I forgot my phone at school!” to which I replied, “Sweetheart… you just passed your phone to your friend to play your game…” – then he had a big sign of relief and said, “Oh yaaaa…..”. This is where I see problems arise. Teachers are just as bad as students. In staff meetings teachers are just like students! Distracted, reading online, texting on our phones. So we need to set a standard for our students as well….
Anyways… when looking at the website commonsensemedia, I am going to reference the article 5 Reason You Don’t Need to Worry About Kids and Social Media. First and foremost, bullying existed even prior to technology and social media. Perhaps accessibility to people has increased, but we can still teach students how to cope and deal with social media in a positive way.
Some positive ways students can use social media…
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram – this always students to connect to others around the world, around their communities and schools. This allows them to share and have a voice in a variety of topics. It enhances their ability to see how others are addressing social justice issues and perhaps it may inspire them even more! This also can allow students to form and strengthen friendships with new and old friends. It allows them to have a platform for their beliefs and it can strengthen other people and uplift them, when they may be feeling down.
On a positive note, our school went to the Robb Nash Project in April. Click here to read more about Robb Nash – but regardless, he was able to captivate young students through music and he has a social media trail that students can follow along, which empowered students. They now have access to his music, his journey to support those who may be struggling with mental health concerns. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p80UzvcYdzs)
Just as the article mentioned: Suicidal teens can even get immediate access to quality support online. The award-winning Robb Nash Project is a registered Canadian charity that engages young people through the power of music and storytelling to inspire hope and encourage positive life choices.
All in all, students need to understand permeates around technology and as teachers we have the power to set a high standard, create parameters in our classrooms and allows students the ability to see how powerful a thing as social media can be!