Last night as part of the #edtechbc, I received 2 tweets that really upset me. Granted, I might be taking them out of context. If so, I hope that someone will correct me. If I’ve I have understood them as intended, then I hope that the senders will correct themselves. The two tweets were:
@royanlee Royan Lee Word.
@MrWejr Chris Wejr
I responded to both but found I wanted to be more explicit. My original tweet response was:
@ginrob_pt P. Tucker
Disagree -Am working with minors. It is my duty 2 error on side of caution. What we shouldn’t is our limit-what we should is limitless @MrWejr
Unlike the 2 tweets, I believe that our first conversation needs to be what we shouldn’t do. I further believe that we should continue to have that conversation until we are at least reasonably sure that we understand the dangers / pitfalls / negative consequences. We need to know what we shouldn’t do because that needs to serve as our limit. What we should do, is near limitless and with infinite possibility; there are many right things to do and no one right way to do them. An opportunity is like a bus; a missed one, while unfortunate, can easily be made up for. Doing something we shouldn’t, is more likely to cause harm (broadly defined of course) and once it is done, can be difficult or impossible to undo. Knowing what we shouldn’t do is also knowing the negative consequences.
Most of us teach minors that are entrusted into our care. It is our ethical duty to error on the side of caution. If you want to explore technology, then do it yourself and expose yourself to unknown risk. By the time you introduce it to you students, you need to understand the dangers that need to be avoided (or prepared for) so that you can fulfil your duty to your students. I’ll never make that mistake again. I was encouraged to explore Twitter with my students and to learn it with them. I was therefore ignorant and unprepared when several of my students were exposed to spam pornographers. Besides this expose to my students (for which they were unprepared), more negative consequences were created in this situation. As I am a professional, I’d be expected to know about this. I think that by inadvertently exposing my students to unknown risks, I was also putting myself a more risk.
We need to share our knowledge of dangers and what we shouldn’t do at least as vigorously as we share what we can do.