The topic for the last edtc400 debate was Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression: Agree or Disagree?. On the agree side we have Jesse Simpson and on the disagree side we have Daniel Lee. As usual, we’ll start this post off with a glance at the prevote results.
The agree side is carrying 68.4% of the votes while the disagree side has 31.6%. I really have appreciated these debate topics because it allowed me to learn more about certain topics that I haven’t thought about, including this one. With the knowledge I had prior to this topic, I voted for the agree side. Let’s take a look at the points Jesse addressed.
A G R E E S I D E
The main points Jesse makes are:
- Staying neutral is problematic: When teachers are problematic
they ignore the fears, interests and concerns of their students. Ignoring your students and their feelings can be damaging towards students. This is a very good point because what if a student’s opinions do not matter at home and school is the place where they feel like they can express themselves. If a teacher is neutral, a student’s feeling of being valued no longer exists. In my class EMTH 200 I did an article presentation and my article was about diverse thinking. The main message in the article was educators should be aware and accept different perspective. Educators will then understand that there is no wrong answers and everyone is right for different reasons. In Tim Walker‘s article, ‘Education is Political’: Neutrality in the Classroom Shortchanges Students, he states how neutrality is a political choice and these choices, as Jesse stated, can result in avoiding fears, interests, and concerns of students. Alyssa Dunn addresses her concerns of the neutrality that results in avoidance of such topics such as racism, inequity, climate change, or gun violence. These controversial issues can put teachers into uncomfortable situations so teachers often avoid these conversations with their students.
- Risks of staying silent online: Throughout edtc400, my classmates and myself have realized how big of a part technology has in our lives and how it is only going to increase from here on out. So, what are the risks of educators staying
silent online? It doesn’t give the opportunity to model digital citizenship for students. Educators staying silent online will allow for misinformation to spread through classrooms. In Matthew Lynch‘s article, Modeling Digital Citizenship in the Classroom, he talks more on digital citizenship within a classroom. Using technology to help student’s learning gets students to appreciate the capabilities of technology. Teachers should teach their students how to search the web and indicate whether information is fake or real.
- Using technology/social media effectively: For educators to use technology/social media effectively they much show and teach their students an active digital citizenship. This way your students know how to use social media properly and appropriately. As Jesse said in his video, sharing is key and educators should speak out and talk about issues that they think need to be addressed.
D I S A G R E E S I D E
Now it is time to take a look at what Daniel had to say!
The main points Daniel talks about are:
- Teachers are under constant scrutiny: Daniel talks about how
people believe educators are overpaid because they don’t work the normal 9-5 jobs and they get summers off. Everyone has spoken to a teacher, whether it was a good or bad experience, this exposure gives people the sense that they know what teachers do. In Richard Worzel‘s article, Why Parents Don’t Respect Teachers, he takes these points Daniel has stated and puts them altogether. For instance, Worzel talks about how people look down at teachers because they do not work a 9-5 job. Considering everyone has been in a school, parents seem to know everything teachers do. They go to their jobs, talk to their students a bit, then get to go home around 3:00. How about getting through to students and making sure they understand? What about the assignments that must get developed? The lesson plans that need to be made before class? All the papers that need to be marked? There is a lot that educator do behind the scenes that parent’s don’t see!
- The education system is political: Here Daniel talks about how a teacher was fired because the school she taught at found out she had sex ‘outside of a heterosexual marriage’. This article goes deeper into the controversial issues that are tied into this.
- Students are easily influenced: Teachers have a big influence on students. Teachers are the leaders of classrooms so I wasn’t surprised when Daniel brought this up. Educators teach younger people the ways around different subjects in the education system. Educators actually hold a lot of power and because of this they are considered to be ‘always right’.
Now that we have taken a look at both sides, let’s take a look at the post vote results.
Now the agree side holds 84.2% of the votes while 15.8% of the votes go to the disagree side. I stuck with the agree side because we live in a very much digital world. Educators cannot stay silent online because all of the misinformation and flaws about technology and social media will reign and there will be total chaos. Both debaters did an amazing job and I was presented with another topic that I didn’t give much thought prior to the debate! Always learning 🙂
Until next time,