My ideas, thoughts, and experiences

Category: Social Media and Personalized Learning (Page 2 of 2)

Considering Privacy Online

Do you even know what the privacy guidelines are for teachers? I can tell you I didn’t! I didn’t even know there were documents for us to reference in order to be safe and respectful representatives for our profession as educators.

The era of social media seems to be inescapable. We now have profiles on a multitude of platforms are and are often sharing and constantly in communication with others. However, have you ever stopped to think before posting an Instagram story, Snapchat  video, or Facebook post?

As my EDCI 568 professor shared with us, “once you move into the role of a public school teacher or within any public body, you must adhere to the laws set out by the B.C. Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner for public bodies (private organizations have a different set of rules). Their office has put together guidelines for you to follow to better understand what the rules are and how to get consent.” BC Cloud Computing Guidelines (PDF). And you can review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act here.

When we are using educational platforms, technology, and communication tools, we need to ensure we are abiding by the rules and regulations of our profession in order to protect the little people that we work with and their families. It does not mean that we stop engaging online or outside of Canada. It means that we need to be knowledgable and get the proper consent. Some districts have their own expectations and safety considerations. You can see an example of how school district are addressing access to cloud tools outside of Canada here (Coquitlam) and here plus here (Victoria).

It is important to also review section 4(b) of the B.C. Digital Literacy Framework. The whole document is good to review as a refresher of what we need to be teaching and exposing our students to.

Additional resources can be found here:

Privacy Education for Kids by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Information Security Awareness by the BC Government

MediaSmarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy

Some competencies for you to explore and ask if you need help:

  • Is aware of the OIPC, FIPPA, and the Cloud Computing Guidelines and follows them
  • Understands what constitutes personal information
  • Understands that privacy online is a personal choice and must be respected
  • Understands that, as a preservice teacher or inservice teacher in the schools, that you assume a “public body” hat and have a duty of care for your learners, their parents and families, and your colleagues with regard to their privacy and protection of personal information
  • Is aware that the Canadian federal government states that the chances are remote that the US Patriot Act will access personal information of Canadians, but recognizes that it is our responsibility to protect privacy preferences and to ensure that consent obtained is informed consent. Some families may be involved with restraining orders and need to be private for their safety, but the reasons for privacy may be preference. Either way, it is not our business as to the reasons for privacy preferences, but it is our responsibility to uphold preferences.
  • Understands how media moves through networks into US cloud-based services (e.g., back-ups on iTunes, syncing with Dropbox, messages with personal information sent on Gmail, blog RSS subscriptions, etc.)
  • Understands that these acts do not prohibit participation in networked tools outside of Canada and many school districts are in need of teachers who model networked literacy and positive citizenship online for their learners
  • Is familiar with section 4(b) of the BC Digital Literacy Framework and is prepared to integrate it in teaching and learning
  • Understands what appropriate consent looks like for public bodies and is aware of what alternative steps are to support learners when consent is not obtained.

In addition,  I learned this week, that public expectation of administrators increases ten-fold. The importance of organizational leadership is paramount. As administrators, we need to not only comply with the FIPPA standards and the Digital Literacy Framework,  but think about the perception of our online profiles. We are now representatives of our school boards and therefore, need to exemplify respect, equity, inclusion, and a standard of excellence. Therefore, in the next few weeks I will be reflecting on my own online portfolio and ensure that I am aligned with those expectations.

Developing a vision for Educational Technology

In my school context, I have taken on the role of technology support person for the staff and students in the building. My primary role is to ensure that all the technology is up to date, apps that teachers want are input onto devices, and providing classrooms and students with equitable access to technology. In addition, this past year I attempted to support my staff with implementing technologies to enhance their teaching and learning. I was lucky enough to have been gifted time to go into classrooms to suppor.t However, unfortunately, not many people took me up. Looking back, I realized I did not have a vision and a plan for implementation, exploration, and support. As I transition into this new administration role this year, I reflect on how to be a Lead Learner in the school and not only support teachers in learning and implementation, but also to model exploration and vulnerability of myself.

I have spent the last five days out on the UBC campus in Vancouver at the BCPVPA Administrators Short Course. We have had the amazing opportunity to listen to a variety of thoughtful, intelligent, and courageous leaders in educational leadership and one of the main ideas that have been shared is the idea of being a Lead Learner.

As I reflect on that and how I can implement that idea into my school, I think about the importance of having a vision. When the ISTE standards were included in our EDCI 568 course readings for the week, I had never seen or even heard of them before! ISTE stands for the International Society for Technology in Education and there are standards on the site for students, educators, and administrators. See the Standards for each group below. Click on each image for more detailed information about the standards.


The revised BC curriculum has allowed for so much more flexibility, freedom, and exploration of the use of technology into our teaching. And I know that teachers are starting to use different tools to help support their teaching, however, I think we can be so much more intentional with our implementation and use. Teachers are using apps and platforms that they are comfortable with, which is great, but I think for the sake of our learners, we need to be brave and try to improve our practice with the incorporation of new ways of thinking, access to international audiences, and developing problem solving strategies. As we know, the world around us is always changing and we need to make sure our learners are experienced, educated, and safe users of technology.

Michelle Haiken is a veteran middle school English teacher in New York and recently published a book titled “New Realms for Writing: Inspire Student Expression with Digital Age Formats.” She provides experiences for her students where they can expand ways in which they can produce written work, help her get to know them better by providing options, giving them opportunities to amplify her students voices, and giving access to a variety of formats and audiences. Some examples she shares in in the book, shared in an article written by Benjamin Herold are:

  1. Mixing poetry and coding – using tools such as Makey Makers, Scratch, audio recording software, and other digital tools to create interactive presentations of the poems they chose.
  2. Working across disciplines and giving students choice – after research of their own independent inquiries, students showcased their work in either a traditional text-based annotated bibliography or a visual infographic. In addition, students shared their conclusions in a podcast, video recorded TEDtalk, or traditionla narrative nonfiction essay.
  3. Murder Mystery with a twist – as she read an Agatha Christie murder mystery, students were given the task of choosing a character, identifying a theme song that fit the character, and produce a quick music video tying the two together.

When reading these types of examples, I get extremely excited, however I go back to teacher workload. There are so many great initiatives and great things that we need to be infusing into our teaching (e.g. Indigenous education, SEL, Self-Regulation, Mental Health, new approaches to teaching Math, PBL, Inquiry, and the list goes on) and I want to make sure my teachers are feeling that there is the space to explore and be innovative, but being cautious of burnout. As an teacher leader, I think about how I can support my staff and students in the building. Some ideas that are rattling around my head on this topic are:

  • Reviewing ISTE standards and see how we are doing as a school with them
  • Developing a technology agreement (statt AND students) with our common understandings about how we use and care for technology, as well as what we are already doing/using in the building and who feels comfortable with those platforms and where we see ourselves moving next
  • Trying out some new things in my classroom and with my collaborative team (and showcasing at staff meetings and professional development)
  • Providing support sessions for staff (for FreshGrade, robots, coding, ADST curriculum implementation, etc.)

I am so inspired and excited by this course as it is already giving me things to think about and implement into my own teaching and leading.

Copyright and Copyleft

During our EDCI 568 class conversation on Thursday, the topic of copyright came up.

During my formal post secondary schooling as well as classroom teaching and professional development, I thought I knew about copyright. I thought I understood the concept and how to effectively teach my students and things to be aware of.

Boy was I wrong.

When I am working with my students and they are starting to explore the online world through research, I make sure we are having conversations about reliable sources, talking about intellectual property, and the importance of taking notes and rewriting in your own words in order to avoid copyright infringement. However, one thing that Dr. Irving shared with us is a site called Creative Commons. This site allows you to search images where their owners have definite ownership and have given permission to share. Included on the site when you search a photo is also how you can site the image in order to give recognition to the owner.

How to attribute CC materials

This is definitely something that I am going to include in my future teachings, as well as having the conversation about ownership of their own work, ideas, and content online.

Some interesting tools to use as well are Fair Dealing (Canada) or Fair Use (USA). They are not Creative Commons but exceptions for use of copyrighted material. See:


Follow @Lessig and @creativecommons on Twitter to learn more

Newer posts »