On November 18th our #eci831 class had the pleasure of listening to Audrey Watters @audreywaters speak to our class. I encourage you to check out Audrey’s blog. She has many thought provoking posts! On the night that she spoke to our class I logged onto the class late because I had Student Led Conferences, but that weekend I was able to rewatch the class! I am able to rewatch the class because Alec and Katia record each session on Black Board Collaborate. Then send the link to everyone on our class EC&I831 Google Plus Community. It is so wonderful to have that option! That was the only class that I arrived late for and missed a bit, but often I would rewatch some of the classes because I forgot what someone said, needed a link, or needed a review of the material. I am a visual learner so being able to play back to classes is amazing! I hope I have to opportunity again down the road to use Black Board Collaborate in other classes or webinars. It was so nice not having to travel two hours to Regina, have class, and then travel another two hours back home.
Now getting back to what Audrey shared to our class…she talked about Gender Equity and Edtech. During her presentation she discussed #gamergate…I had no idea what that was. I agreed with some fellow that I am oblivious to that kind of stuff. Have you heard of gamergate before? My class talked a little bit in class about it in the session, but still did not have a clear picture. So read about gamergate on Wipedia. I could not imagine facing harassment online. Very heavy stuff! Audrey told us that “the Internet can be a destructive place.” She went on to say, “That’s an issue that has to be addressed in ed tech” and explained that it is an technology, education, social, and political issue. “We can’t ignore it!” I agree with Audrey hundred percent that the Internet can be destructive. Like so many things there is the good about it, the bad about it, and then the just plain ugly. I am very much (try to be) a positive person and try to see the glass half full. Sure we all have our moments, but I try to surround myself with people who are also positive, supportive, and want to help me reach my goals. In my social media accounts I try to add and keep people who are positive and weed out the negative people who are pulling my energy down. I agree that we cannot ignore it, but it can be hard sometimes to speak up online depending on the space. I try to avoid confrontation online because I also do not want it to affect my career or my digital identity. When I see my friends post something on Facebook/Twitter that I do not agree with I do not write a comment under his/her post, but I have send a private message or a text to some people before. Or even better you could have a conversation in person or over the phone! I find when I read texts, e-mails, or words online it can be hard to tell the tone the writer is trying to portray. I have many times misinterpreted the message that the writer was trying to get across, but it can be fixed if you have a conversation with the writer.
Audrey discussed gender and ed tech. It made me think of my first master’s class when we discussed lens. Everyone has their own lens based on their gender, ethnicity, where they live, family, etc. She mentioned that there are more males then females working in ed. tech jobs. On the chat is was brought up that many positions higher up in the company or job are male. I have very proud to be a part of the Southeast Cornerstone School Division. Our Director of Education, Superintendent of Education, and Superintendent of East Schools are all female teachers. All of them fantastic role models to have in the upper level of our division. We also have many female consultants and principals in our division.
I think teaching digital citizenship lessons and discuss student’s digital footprint is important to do in school. Is that the answer? No, but at least it is a start! We need to create and develop safe places! If I can get my student’s to “THINK” before they post that would be an amazing start. I think our blog is wonderful because it allows us to explore the Internet and share our thoughts in a positive way. I also control the comments section of our blog. I did change the settings to allow comments to go automatically for this blog. I do not feel comfortable having the same setting for my class blog. I like being able to control if a comment gets added onto our classroom blog or not.
Common Sense Media has some excellent resources on Digital Citizenship. In the chat on Black Board Collaborate Carmen Holota (@queeniecarmen) mentions that Media Smarts is a good resource. (I encourage you to check out Carmen’s blog!) I explored the website and I thought there was some useful resources and tools to help teach a variety of topics. One of the links was called Gender Representation which made me remember of advertisement about girl image. A lady asks different people show her “what does it looks like to ____ like a girl?” It was very interesting to see how the different people represented the statement. I really liked seeing how they changed how they represented the actions later on in the video. I found an article discussing this advertisement and it also allows people to video the video. What did you think after you watched the video? Do you know of other powerful videos that share an important message?
Another section in the Media Smarts website that caught my eye was Body Image under Media Issues. I think a lot of media does not send a positive message about body image to our youth. Body image does not affect females, but males as well. Thinking about body image makes me think of an episode off Glee. (I enjoy watching Glee!) The episode was called “Born This Way.” In the episode Rachel hurts her nose and is deciding if she wants to get a nose job or not. Leading their teacher to create an assignment about singing about their “flaws” and celebrating those differences. In the episode they sing a song that still gives me goose bumps. I encourage you to check it out and let me know what you think of the song!
I am very lucky to have such a supportive and amazing parents, siblings, extended family, and friends. I owe it to them that I have my positive body image that I do! On April 7th, 1995 changed my life and my family’s life. I was admitted into Weyburn hospital after going to the doctor because I was not feeling well and had a strange rash on my shoulder. My doctor did some investigating and sent me to Regina to confirm her diagnosis. Only being in Regina for maybe two hours I was then rushed to the University Hospital in Saskatoon to be seen my the infectious disease team. My doctor was correct in her diagnosis and it was confirmed that I have Necrotizing Fasciitis (Flesh Eating Disease). I went into surgery immediately to stop the infection from spreading. After they were able to stop the disease from spreading. I then went through several skin graft surgeries. I was very lucky that my doctor diagnosed me so fast and that I only was in the hospital for a month. Now I have visible scarring on my chest, right shoulder, and down the right side of my back. I think because I was only seven it helped me to have a positive body image compared to it was to have happened when I was a teenager or in my early twenties. Now I am twenty-seven years old and have had my scar for twenty years of my life. It is a part of my “body footprint” and it shares my story. I will not hide who I am…I am lucky that I was able to beat the disease and live a healthy and happy life afterwards. I think it is important to teach students about self-esteem and having a positive body image. We need to fill everyone’s buckets and show them that they are beautiful just the way they are! It makes me think of another great song! Can you tell I like music! Do you know of any other songs with a powerful message?
So what does this mean?
I agree with Kelly that he mentioned on the chat that we need to keep encouraging and supporting science and technology options and opportunities to our female students. Hour of Code was also mentioned in the chat. I am hoping to have my students do the Hour of Code with their learning buddies! I think it is an excellent idea to do with your students! As I mentioned earlier we need to continue to teach our students about Digital Citizenship and promoting healthy living. Not just exercising, eating healthy, and our physical health. But, we need to also take care of our emotional and mental health as well.
What do you think we should be teaching our students in the topic of gender and EdTech?