Social Media in Education: November 12 - December 2, 2007

Issues with Social Media

Issues with Social Media

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -
Number of replies: 14
Copyright

I recently experienced an ugly situation where someone stole one of my Blog articles that contained information about one of our professors, posted it on another site and linked it to porn. I tried tracing the perpetrators, tried getting the website provider to take the site down and had no luck.

I'm a strong advocate of open access to educational blogs, but this situation threw me.
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -
Personal vs professional persona

Facebook has been very interesting because I joined it to keep in touch with family and friends with whom I share silliness, sentimentality and political stances. I joined NING on the other hand, for the professional networking.

To my surprise, Facebook has become increasingly professional in terms of the people who contact me and I'm becoming uncomfortable with the blurring of boundaries.

Imagine what it must be like for students! For example, a medical student did a practice presentation recently about his drunken, road trip to a music festival. He thought he was being immensely entertaining, but I thought it was way too much information to be sharing in that environment. Imagine him posting his drunken image on a blog that came back to haunt him when he was applying for a hospital position.

Every day on Facebook, I see images that I find offensive (and I'm considered to be very open minded), posted by men and women.

How do we help students learn appropriate professional behaviour without stifling their creativity? How do we help them separate private and public?
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Cynthia Alvarado -
I'm not sure there is much real separation between public and private in social media spaces like Facebook. I must admit that I use my Facebook account for purposes as diverse as professional learning, getting prayer support for my church's upcoming mission trip and playing fun little tricks on my children, who live out of state. My kids are big fans of the Superpoke and Throw a Frisbee applications. I find that those who I consider my professional friends get drawn into our silliness, because it is great fun, and play is valuable in and of itself. Some how, at least for me, the line between professional and personal is pretty thin in some social spaces. I take the viewpoint that what I put in that space represents me and I don't want to represent myself in ways that would be offensive or damaging to me professionally. I have always taught students that anything posted on the Internet can be viewed by anyone, including your parents, your potential employer and the person you just asked out, so it is important to represent yourself in ways that won't come back to haunt you.
In reply to Cynthia Alvarado

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Barbara Dieu -
I agree with you Cynthia that the barrier between real/virtual/professional/personal is getting very thin indeed. Just to illustrate, I have recently introduced and connected my niece to an ex-student of mine, whom I had not seen for years but who contacted me through Facebook, and an online friend/collaborator as they all happen to be living in the same country and city.

This kind of connections used to exist way before the internet but were much more difficult as we often lost track of people/places and it was time-consuming (sending letters or phoning people).

Nowadays, I have a number of students and ex-students, family members, people with whom I work f2f and virtually who have added me to Facebook and Orkut (the Brazilian social networking site bought by Google). Just like you, I tell my students about the importance of what they post online so that their present virtual identity does not haunt them in the future and refrain from posting anything which is not of interest to the world at large.
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Tia Carr Williams -

Personal v professional

Dierdre,

In the three or four months Ive been on Facebook  I have to say Ive 'met' some phenomenal contacts for work, subscribed to loads of useful groups and spend the in between times chilling with the scrabulous app.

As far as blurring the professional/personal aspect, it doesn't seem to have a negative impact that my children are in my network along with my colleagues from around the world. In fact, it seems quite humanising in some ways.

Of course it doesnt do much for privacy but at least FB does allow you to limit the amount of your profile people have access to. For peripheral contacts I usually limit their access to my full profile.

In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Michael McVey -

This semester I had an interesting experience. I suggested to my online class that they feel free to add me as a FaceBook friend. One student was horrified at the suggestion and noted that since I was the professor of the class she was taking, she might reveal information about herself that was not appropriate and I might, perhaps, take offense.

I had not considered this before and her position made perfect sense. Even if she did not write a single negative comment, a glance at her political affiliations, social groups, or even her list of friends might have biased me a little.

In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Marsha West -

what great timing! I have just been virtually dragged onto Facebook by my family and friends -- it's the only way I can see the newest photo albums of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But I'm a little taken aback by how much I see there - and how to make sure that not more of me is seen than I'm comfortable with.

I enjoyed sharing a photo album from a recent trip - and enjoyed also having lots of positive feedback from both family and professional colleagues.

But, I was a little uncomfortable to find myself an observer of some foolishness on the part of others. For instance, I "poked" an adult grandson who is studying abroad and reminded him that his grandfather and I were looking forward to hearing about his experiences as an exchange student and teacher of English.

I got a great, long, newsy letter in response. Which was wonderful. But I also got to see his brand of silliness in the way he presented himself to his peers -- which was way too much information for me to want to have . . . I'd like to keep my illusions about his intellectual and social maturity, but, alas, not so.

Oh, well -- just will make me cautious about what I say about myself there!
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Ian MacLeod -
Great questions Deirdre and ones that we all need to come to grips with. Part of my own experience with learners, particularly those categorized as digital natives, the net gen, or millennials (I've even seen the term neo-millennial lately) is that they have a completely different concept of privacy than most of us. In some cases they have no concept of privacy at all and do not see why we are concerned about it at all. I think that the example you give is a good object lesson. we need to deliver more of these to our learners.

I think that the issue of what exactly privacy is is part of the bigger issue of information literacy, which is in my mind the single biggest issue we face with the use of social media, Web 2.0, and online learning. If learners cannot find, analyze, interpret and use information properlythe will be as illiterate as someone who cannot read from a book - privacy will be a part of this.

Anyone have any thoughts on how to get learners to be concerned about privacy? Is it a real concern or just something us oldies have to get over if we want to pay with the net gen?
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Heather Ross -
Deirdre,

I wouldn't let this incident deter you in any way. the perpetrators could have come up with that information from other sources. Information is out there, something we need to keep in mind.
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Heather Ross -
I wasn't sure where to post this, but this seems to be as good a place as any. There was an interesting article in the Guardian a few days ago related to how learners feel about social networking sites being used in education. I think that it fits in with this seminar very well.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/link/story/0,,2202291,00.html
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Therese Weel -
Thanks for the article link heather

I don't enjoy being connected 24/7 to everyone and everything either. I like exploring technology and looking at it's value. Facebook has excellent features and its user base is learning how to use them.

The snippet that caught my eye...

...wanting to get beneath the skin of this technology and exploring it for academic use. "I'm very interested in it as a potential way for students working together remotely rather than having to be in a physical space."
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Barbara Dieu -
Deidre..I can imagine how you must have felt. I once had a similar pb when an interview about blogs I gave to an online French teaching journal was inadequately referenced in a blog post.

A teacher had copied half of it, mentioning my name but not acknowledging the original source or blockquoting the content that was not his. By adding his own ideas following mine and pointing to links different from those given in the interview, he completely distorted the meaning of what I had said.

Fortunately, I wrote to the editor, who contacted him, explained what he had done and asked him to remove it, which he did.
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Jim Wolff -
Hi Diedre - this irksome misdemeanor now has a name: Splogging.

See this Techcrunch article about it,
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/11/09/attack-of-the-splogs%e2%80%94one-of-our-posts-copied-152-times-without-attribution/

The article also mentions a new start-up - Attributor - which claims to be able to track your content across the web. For a small fee of course smile

Hope it helps.

Jim
In reply to Deirdre Bonnycastle

Re: Issues with Social Media

by Therese Weel -
Nellie Deutsch just added this message to the SCoPE Page Flake.

She raises a good point - with the proliferation of social media and it's inherent distraction. How do we navigate social media it to get the most value from it?

Topic: Lost in cyberspace
Hi everyone, I seem to be lost in cyberspace. While the layout of "Social Media in Education" is extremely organized. I seem to be in need of guidance as to how to navigate to benefit from the session. I would appreciate a hand. Thank you.