What is technology doing to us?
Usually for ECMP 455, we meet in our typical blackboard meeting place and have our lesson stream from that app. This week, we met on this online website called Blue Jeans. Blue Jeans is an online, cloud-based conference room where you can connect with anyone via messaging, audio, and/or video. All one has to do to gain access to it, is sign in and you will appear in this type of conference room. I’ll be honest, it was pretty weird and awkward at first because I was just sitting alone downstairs on my computer staring at all of my classmates doing the exact same thing at their place. Looking past this part of the night, it was actually extremely easy to interact and speak up during discussion compared to the interaction tool in blackboard. My prof was also still able to share his screen and present his slides for us to follow along with, but the bonus of it was that we could actually see him and my classmates during the discussion.
Our main discussion this week was how are students and people around the world are forming their digital identity and have access to many different forms of social media. A few specific websites and apps we discussed were SnapChat, ChatRoulette, Tinder, Kik, and YikYak. During the class, we talked about different ways we can approach these apps that our students have direct access to, to ensure that our students understand the importance of having and creating a safe online identity. Many of us in the class have accounts for these programs and most of us have at least tried them once or twice. After discussing these different types of apps, I came to realize that there were more negative things to say about these apps than there were good. I think this is mainly because there are different people out there who abuse and take advantage of these apps but not in an appropriate way.
I believe it is our responsibility, as future educators, to be aware of what is out there and know all the different types of things that can occur on these apps. We also have to be able to have a discussion with our students on how to be responsible on different types of social media and make sure that they are being safe and appropriate. This way, our students will know how to approach certain situations and even be able to avoid situations on social media that could end for the worst.