What a time to be talking about social justice in the classroom. Many people in the world saw things through a different lens these past few weeks.
Of course teachers should be teaching about social justice issues and it shouldn’t just be in the wake of such heartbreaking news either. In the article Alec shared there was a quote that will get us talking about this.
“BY REMAINING NEUTRAL, TEACHERS ARE ENACTING THE OPPOSITE OF NEUTRALITY BY “CHOOSING TO MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO AND FURTHER MARGINALIZING CERTAIN GROUPS.”
Talking about, advocating for and being outspoken about social justice issues is undoubtedly going to help marginalized people. These types of conversations should be happening in classrooms all over the world, these conversations are shaping our future.
Should we be using Social Media to promote Social Justice?
Well.. I think social media is a terrific place to find current events. Using social media to stay informed could be a powerful tool. Promoting students to engage in online debate or activism is something that I would tread extremely lightly with. I fear that you may be setting young people up for failure as far as being trolled.. or worse turning into trolls.
Encouraging students to be vocal about their beliefs modelling responsible behavior and treating the inevitable internet troll as a teachable moment is certainly an arguable point… but… jeeeeeeze I think this is opening yourself up to a lot of potential kickback. Which is also arguably the correct response when dealing with social justice issues. SOOOOOO…… here I sit….. at a loss.
Slacktivism is a real thing in our society so, would using social media at this young age be better or worse for future slacktivists. There are so many teachable moments within all of this, and I suppose my reluctance to join the ranks of social media activism probably says something about my own journey to understanding privilege… I just think there are many things to consider with regards to students engaging in social media activism.
The video embedded above talks about some interesting connections to online social media activists and the real world… worth listening to.
To further my role as devils advocate… Tuesdays debate brought up the ideas of teachers shaping a students digital footprint.. So…. that should be considered as well… they road you lead them down better be righteous because the footprint could be there forever.
To sum up… I hope the video is well received as Michella and I are both advocates of social justice education but wanted to argue these points with a bit of humour.
4 thoughts on “Educators have a responsibility to use tech and social media to promote social justice.”
Great presentation at the debate! I agree with you that there are a lot of things to consider when getting students to engage in social media activism. You make a good point when you say “the road you lead them down better be righteous because the footprint could be there forever”. We definitely have to be aware as educators of the digital footprint we are creating for our students.