I have had a very busy and slightly confusing few days this past week figuring out my visa for my practicum in China! I went over to the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver on Thursday, armed with all of necessary documents for a smooth and simple application process (or so I thought!). After a rather eventful morning ensuring that I had my documents together, the whole system that they use to process visas crashed! The solution for this ended up being easy enough – they couldn’t mail me the visa, but my sister could pick it up for me. I headed back to Victoria, tired and a little confused but feeling like it had been a successful trip. A few days later, I had a call from the Consulate at about 3PM – they hadn’t saved all of my information, and needed me to be back in Vancouver by 11AM the following day. This meant rearranging my whole schedule – unfortunately missing my Technology Innovation for the week, and the presentation from Jesse Miller.
Luckily, I’ve got a great cohort, and I was able to create a blog post about this presentation through what I learned from conversations with peers and their blog posts!
After that long-winded introduction, here are some of the more important points from the presentation from Jesse Miller. Jesse is a speaker and consultant that presents to schools, non-profit groups, and companies nationwide about social media, internet safety, and technology in the classroom. During his presentation, he discussed the benefits of technology and social media, but also talked about how we as adults use technology. There is often a lot of focus on whether or not adolescents are using technology and social media appropriately, but it is much less common for adults to take a step back and look at our own social media use with a critical eye. As educators, we are held to certain standards of professionalism, which means that we need to be extra aware of our social media usage and the content that we put out there. The content that we post on ‘private’ accounts is not quite as private as some may think, which is important to keep in mind when posting content. It is also important to note student privacy – it is highly inappropriate for teachers to post images of students and student information on their personal social media pages. Personally, this isn’t something I would ever even think of doing, but because social media has made it commonplace to have so much of our lives out in the open, this is important to keep in mind. Jesse also discussed the idea of a classroom Instagram account – an idea that I need to continue to think about as I have thought about this previously but am still hesitant to actually put into practice.