ED. Tech Debate #7

Our final debate argued that educators have a responsibility to use tech and social media to promote social justice. It was one for the books. Jacquie and Mike opened the argument with a well done video in favour of this. They focused on how essential social justice is in our schools and how it is important for us to teach our students about things that are happening in our world. So often they are focused on what is happening within their own circle, they are oblivious to the bigger picture. If it does not directly affect them then they are not following. They brought up four components of why this is import:
– it challenges and confronts stereotypes
– provides students with resources needed to learn to their full potential
– it draws on student talents and strengths like language, culture and personal experiences
– it promotes critical thinking
I felt these were four great ways to summarize what they felt was important. As educators, our job is to teach our students and provide them with the information they need in order to form their own opinions and make their own choices. We cannot push our own opinions on them. We need them to think critically of the situation and use that background knowledge we have provided them to take their own stand.

Source

Our current state of the world is a prime example of young people fighting for social justice. Between the opinions on the covid-19 pandemic, #BlackLivesMatter movement and many other situations, our society is full of opinions and opportunities to fight for social justice. I believe these topics are full of learning opportunities in the classroom based on some discussions you could be having with your students. I also think some biases and own personal views could come into play and educating on all sides would tough. Teaching the facts over opinions is what is important. Let the students form their own opinions when they have received ALL the facts! If we want to see a change in regards to social justice, it comes from educating our youth!

Another point Mike made was that there are three types of a justice oriented citizens. There is the person that is a personally responsible citizen, the participatory citizen and the justice-oriented citizen. I really appreciated that as the discussion went on and someone made a comment about a specific situation, Mike would chime in what kind of justice oriented citizen that person was portraying. It was very subtle but also drove home the point that they were trying to make. I really felt Mike and Jacquie were meant to debate. They had a long list of facts and famous people to quote. They really knew their material and were very persuasive speakers. I can only imagine how engaged their students are when they are teaching on a topic they are passionate about.

Brad and Michala came back with a great argument. The video was entertaining. I knew Brad would come up with something fantastic but I never imagined we would get to see so many sides of him. On a more serious note, the one thing I really took away from their side of the debate was that yes teaching about social justice is important but using social media as a platform is not the best approach. I thought Brad’s example of his own teaching experience was a great reflection on this. The internet trolls (which they also mentioned) jumped to conclusions and made assumptions about a project that really was a great learning opportunity, improved our community and was student-lead.

Social media often leaves out important parts of a story and people can get the wrong impression. It is not always the best way to share information. When Michala made the comment about big meetings are always done in person. They are not completed over the phone or online. It is through face to face discussion because they are more valuable, genuine and productive when you can be in another’s presence. This made me think of my current IIP meetings. In June, I am often having multiple meetings with families to talk a students growth over the year and the next steps moving forward. They are also done with a team in a group setting around one table. Sometimes those conversations are tough and being in a room together is important. I have really noticed that this spring as those meetings are now being done over zoom. The connection and productivity of those meetings is just not at the same caliber. Some conversations are just meant to be in person. Like Alyssa mentioned in the chat, “I think we have a lot of valuable discussions in our classrooms because everyone involved knows it is a safe space. Online does not feel like a safe space like how Michala was talking about her daughter’s experience”.

As with most of the debates we have had, I leave feeling both sides made great points. Social Justice is important and needs to be taught in our classrooms but the approach we use is what we need to be cautious about. Moderation again is important and knowing when to post something online and how we go about the post is what we need to be aware of. I leave another debate reflecting on my own practices and how I can be better!

11 thoughts on “ED. Tech Debate #7

  1. Lisafrazer

    Great post Jocelyne! I agree! This was one for the books! A great finale to a great class! I was I think I leave every debate reflecting on how I can do better! I love the photo of Brad! I too was wondering what he would pull out of his sleeve when it came to the debate as I knew it would be entertaining! I so agree that face to face is so much more beneficial than over Zoom. I feel like I am out of touch with my staff or missing something. I certainly feel a disconnect as opposed to face to face meetings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike Wolf

      I’m feeling the divide a lot on staff lately. Luckily with some restrictions relaxing a few of us are trying to meet face-to-face. Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings just aren’t the same as a face-to-face conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I definitely think a lot of people are feeling the disconnect. I am currently reading Jody Carrington’s book Kids These Days and a big part of our human design is face to face connection. She discusses how when we talk face to face our bodies release the hormone dopamine. Our bodies don’t react this way when we read a text or talk on the phone. I think this is hard part about teaching online, we don’t get the opportunity for that real face to face contact.

      Like

    3. I think both the staff and students are missing this. That is the feeling I get from conversations lately. I find people are really relieved to hear we are back in the fall… whatever that looks like. Alyssa I have read “Kids These Days” and been to Jody twice and now have completed her online course with my staff. Her idea of connection is something I can really relate to. She is great.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really great connections and I love how you see the potential of both sides in your classroom and life. That is what major take away from this class- how much each debate has created space for me to grow in my thoughts, my intentions and ultimately my practice as a teacher and person. It was awesome walking this path alongside you. Thanks for all your feedback, comments and your kind words in this post! Hopefully our paths cross again in another grad class.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tarina Kelln

    Great post! I especially like your comment about teaching the facts over opinions. This is what is important. As you said students can form their own opinions when they have received ALL the facts. Opinions will sneak there way in but as long as we focus on facts our students will become equipped with the knowledge to influence change. Best wishes as you progress in your masters journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Social Media Activism – Jocelyn Wigmore and the Blog of Teaching Secrets

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