The use of social media is wide spread and regardless of what we personally think of this medium it is here to stay and is the way that a large portion of the worlds population communicates. This includes our students. If our students are on Facebook then we should educate them about Facebook, if our students use mobile phones then we should educate them about the use of mobile phones. I use Facebook and mobile phones as examples because I would be surprised if their were more popular mediums among teenagers (and younger) for sharing comments and images.
When it all goes wrong and an image is posted which shames or embarrasses others or themselves our reactions as adults can be very condemning, “Why would you do that?” “Didn’t you realise the consequences?” I think it can be easy to sit back and think that the last couple of generations of kids are Internet savvy and automatically know what to do when using social networks because they have grown up with it. I also think this is an incorrect assumption. As parents and teachers we need to guide kids on how to use social media responsibly. Below are a couple of resources which could help teachers to do this. Do you have students in your class on Facebook and using mobile phones? If the answer is yes how do you help them use these tools responsibly?
I have collected a couple of resources for teaching digital literacy and citizenship and created links to them below.
The poster below is not easily readable in this post but you should get the idea. It would be a great starting point for discussion with students who post images and comments online. Common Sense Media – Digital Citizenship poster quality version – (click here to go to their site for a downloadable version of the poster).