I can’t wait to share my passion about the topic of Digital Leadership with the world in the form of my upcoming book, Social LEADia. In anticipation of its release I will be sharing excerpts from it… until which time I can actually hold the book in my hands!
This is one of the stories which I share in the book which reaffirmed for me the need for adults to be in social media spaces together with our students and children.
In the Spring of 2016, I tweeted out the link to a hashtag that kids had created for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy test. #osslt2016 My daughter and I got a real kick out of the very clever posts by students who had just written the test. Even EQAO (the governing body overseeing the test) responded light-heartedly:
— EQAO (@eqao) March 31, 2016
Then a friend of mine pointed out that there was an extremely inappropriate post in the feed. When I looked, I was mortified. Instinctively, I deleted my tweet and reported the tweet as offensive. This student basically likened writing the test to wanting to be a suicide bomber and included a photo!
Then I took a closer look. This was just a grade 10 kid trying to be funny and not really understanding the impact. I looked at his Facebook page (easy enough to find) and realized from the very innocent profile and posts that he had just made a vast error in judgement.
I instinctively contacted him via Twitter. It could have gone one of two ways: he could have responded maliciously, or he could have realized his error. Here is how the exchange went:
Me: This is never ever appropriate. Nor is it funny. And this tweet can come back to haunt you in the future.
Student: (Liked, Retweeted) Thx
Me: You are welcome. Delete it and hopefully no one will see it for now. Good luck!
Student: Kk (Deleted the tweet)
If I wasn’t in this space, I would not have been able to help this student.
This experience has reaffirmed my conviction that we need to spend more time focusing on using social media in positive ways. When we talk about social media, we can't always use the fear narrative; and we need to be in these spaces to help students navigate the tricky waters! Click To Tweet