Do Your Part – Social Justice in the Classroom and Online

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This week in class, we discussed social justice in regards to educational technology.  Throughout my four years at university, we have talked about social justices issues over and over and over again.  However, never have we talked about social justice as it relates to educational technology.  I think this needs to change.  With the digital age we live in, technology needs to be addressed as it pertains to these pertinent issues.

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Photo Credit: Playing Asian via Compfight cc

So how can we address social justice in our classrooms?

Positive Digital Citizens: we need to teach students to be positive digital citizens.  As teachers we need to encourage and model to students what it looks like to be a positive digital citizen.  Talk about things in class and get them on the track towards beginning their online identity.  We can teach students by showing them examples of negative digital citizenship, such as cyberbullying, and tweets gone wrong, (#hasshelandedyet).

Raise Awareness: make sure that students understand what it means to be unjust to others online.  For example, the recent situation at Dalhousie University.  There are tons of examples that we can share with students in order for them to understand consequences for actions on social media.  We can also use the story of Rehtaeh Parsons to help students understand.

Have Consequences in Place: schools have huge problems with bullying – especially with the rise of social media in our society.  Students who cyberbully, need to face consequences.  One school, got on board with the RCMP and implemented fines and jail time for bullying.  This is one way we can work to combat bullying and our social justice issue.

I think it all comes down to education; we need to educate our students to positive citizens, especially in the digital world.  We can’t change the attitudes of all internet users out there – but we need to start small and implement the change in our own classrooms.  If everyone educates their students on social justice and how to be positive digital citizens, we can go a long way.

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