It is hard to believe that this week was our very last Ed. Tech. Debate! It is crazy how fast our semester is flying by. With the being said Jesse and Daniel embarked on our last debate, “Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression: Agree or disagree?”. Jesse took the pro side meanwhile Daniel represented the con side. Prior to the debate here was our classes vote:
Jesse shared the following main points within his video and required readings in agreement with this weeks debate:
- Staying Neutral is Problematic:
- In his video, Jesse suggests that remaining neutral ignores the fear interests and concerns of students as teaching is politically driven. This article, provided by Jesse, further examines this concept and identifies that by ignoring issues or try to remain neutral that we instead ignore our students’ needs for guidance. During the debate, Jesse also suggested that choosing to stay quite reinforces the status quo.
- Jesse also talks about how trying to stay neutral becomes damaging towards students as it is almost impossible to remain objective. Additionally, it becomes so important to watch and address misconceptions about isms for example (Racism, ableism, etc.).
- Risks of staying quite:
- Remaining quite online does not model digital citizenship for students. Jesse also shared this article that explains some of the ways in which educators can model digital citizenship in the classroom. For example by discussing digital etiquette and examining with students what is or is not okay to do online.
- Fake new is related to politics and ignoring it completely leaves misinformed news to reign free. It is important to talk about fake news and for students to learn how to identify fake news.
- Jesse also brought up the concept of silence as complicity in that remaining silent is agreeing with a particular statement or standpoint. Jesse suggests the best way to not stay silent is to engage.
- Using tech. more effectively:
- During this point, Jesse recommended doing the following: modeling digital citizenship and digital literacy for your students, speaking up about what you think is important via social media or during a class discussion. In order to do this, Jesse also pointed out that it is important educators know how to use tech effectively.
Daniel shared the following in his video and required readings in agreement with this weeks debate about technology:
- The educational system is political:
- The educational system is very political in many senses. One of which where religion is mixed in. In an article Daniel shared, it examines how for some teaching positions teachers are expected to conform to certain schools religious beliefs or risk expulsion.
- Students are easily influenced:
- During Daniel’s debate, he argued that teachers are often seen as a keeper of knowledge and that they are ‘always right’. As a result of this teachers have a strong influence of their students. Daniel uses the example of this protest in this article as an example. Whether intentional or not teachers must consider how their views are being expressed as their perspective has the power to sway students. In his video, Daniel describes this concept as the ‘brainwashing of students’. It is important to remember to ensure students are provided facts so that students have the opportunity to think for themselves
- Differences of Opinion:
- Throughout his debate, Daniel examines how teachers are often placed under scrutiny. This may become an issue in the classroom if something the teacher has differing political views/perspectives on social justice then parents.
- During his final statement, Daniel mentioned how at the end of the day that teachers need jobs. He then went on to state that if teachers were to post particular political views or share perspectives on social justice issues via social media that depending on the community there could be potential backlash for the teacher.
This was an interesting concluding debate as in each debate we have had in class there are multiple perspectives to consider. As always we concluded our debate with our post-debate vote and our results were 84.2% agreed and 15.8% disagreed. As in any debate I have a difficult time choosing a ‘side’ as I see various perspectives of each side. With this debate, I would personally say that educators have the responsibility to educate their students to promote social justice and fight oppression using technology in the classroom; however, I think that how educators choose to share, or not share, their beliefs personally through technology should be respected.