In the year 2007, I worked as a teacher for a school district that was extremely conservative and had a no social media policy for district business. During that year, I remember a student asked me if I was on Facebook. I told her no, knowing that I was. She kept pushing the issue while I kept ignoring and redirecting her. Eager to solidify her claim, she called me by my Facebook nickname I used for my profile. My heart dropped and I immediately loss my breath. I was worried about the extent of my personal content the student was able to see. Unfortunately for me, this was long before Facebook launched their mobile app. As a result of the district's no social media policy and the nonexistence of the Facebook app, I had to run home during my planning period to make sure my privacy settings were set so other students couldn't find me. It was the scare of my life time.
I was very particular about mixing my personal life with my teacher persona. I was young, about the same size as most of the students, and I valued my role as a no nonsense teacher that was about student achievement. However, outside of work, I was a typical recent millennial college graduate, with fraternity connections, and an active social life that I shared on Facebook with friends. After this incident, I began reevaluating my social media presence, content, and privacy settings. I respected the policy of the school district and found myself slightly agreeing with it.
Fast forward two years later and I moved north to a significantly more technology and web 2.0 progressive school district. As a matter of fact, the entire state was more progressive when it came to technology and web 2.0. As a part of my teaching certification, I had to meet technology standards for licensure which included an extensive portfolio to show technology and web 2.0 literacy and instructional use. The process was a nightmare for me at first. I had no experience using tech for teaching beyond playing a DVD movie in class. I was clearly a product of my early teaching experiences.
In an article I read about tensions associated with importing Web 2.0 practices into classroom instruction, Cook (2011), noted conservative hesitancy, on the part of schools, is a major influence on the slow progress occurring in some schools. Although almost every educator I encounter in 2018 utilizes Web 2.0, mobile, and social media technology in their own personal lives, there are places where large groups of educators are reluctant to use these tools and resources to support student learning. From my experiences, much of the reluctancy is centered around fear of losing a component of management. Alternatively, throughout the school students are are their phones Snapchatting, creating IG stories, Tweeting, and living a digital life that isn't being tapped into to support student learning. I'll close this post out by saying, its funny how time changes all things. Not only did I become a technology and Web 2.0 proficient educator, my first school district began using Facebook and Twitter. I'm extremely confident that as we begin to transition to Web 3.0 laggards will get on board with using Web 2.0 to support student learning. What are your thoughts?
Crook, C. (2012). The 'digital native' in context: tensions associated with importing Web 2.0 practices into the school setting. Oxford Review of Education, 38(1), 63-80. doi:10.1080/03054985.2011.577946