The First Step: Acknowledging the Abuse


Though I am an advocate for students having access to technological tools such as iPads and laptops, I question how students will use them. You cannot give a person a book with explicit pictures and tell them to use the book, but not look at the pictures. Same with digital tools. You cannot expose students to social media networking sites or other sites on the Internet without explaining the protocol on how to use them properly. We do not throw our teenagers on the road without a driver’s ed class and guidelines to follow, so why are we allowing our students to maneuver the Internet without instruction?

This question was central in the process of focusing my project on social media in the education system. I have used the analogy before that my DVD will parallel the function of the first driver’s ed video: How do we teach a person how to drive? Similarly, how do we teach a student to use social media responsibly?

The first step is explaining to administrators why students abuse social media. Though this seems complicated to answer, it all boils down to one conclusion: They have not been taught what is proper. Sure, we (students) have been told countless times to not cyberbully, post racy photos, or use profanity on the Internet, but what are we supposed to do instead? We have not been taught that we can contact people pursuing careers in the fields we are interested in. We have not been told that it is okay to not be interested in what others are, that it is okay to set our own goals and our own standards and to strive for them. In contrast, we have been taught how to memorize and discard of information as soon as it becomes unneeded. And though we have been told to monitor what we put on the Internet, we have never been told or explained why in a relatable way. Everyone understands what I’m talking about when I say what we put on the Internet is like a zombie; it never dies, it never goes away.

Thus, I want administrators to encourage their students to take a proactive role in acknowledging their responsibility on social media. This is a little difficult to do if you yourself do not know what is appropriate or not on social media, which is why I am filming my DVD. Not only will I explain why social media should be used in the classroom and how it can be incorporated into the curriculum, but how to empower students to take charge of their Internet face and make it a respectable one. My DVD is not as far along in progress as I would like, which is why I have not gone into depth about what it will contain. It is ever-changing, much like the technology revolution we are living in. Despite this, I do promise my DVD will deliver all administrators need to get a start on using social media in the classroom; however, it is up to the administrators as to what they do with the information I provide and how to expand it to encompass their needs.



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