Jesse Millar – Online Safety, Privacy, Tech tools, and Social Media Curation

Today’s class included a fascinating and eye opening talk from Jesse Millar. Millar provided an informative discussion on network literacy and social media use with youth. Millar is well qualified and has a lot of experience working with school districts and the police departments and he also frequently runs parenting conferences regarding social media and children. There is a lot of controversy surrounding social media networks and technology with children. Millar discussed how many articles and news reports are designed to scare parents about their children and technology and are not based off of scientific studies. Millar argues that there is no way to know yet, whether or not there are adverse effects to early exposure to technology because there needs to be at least two generations who were studied in order to have enough data, to know for sure. In his parenting conferences, he discusses how healthy technology use starts with modeling responsible use, and that children follow by example. Millar argues that the abuse of technology in the classrooms comes from an environment that is not engaging or stimulating enough for students. The more engaging teachers make their classrooms, the less likely students are going to want to check their phones. It is also important for educators to address the existing and emerging social media concerns in their education environments and need to have more networking literacy conversations, including respectful interactions on social media. Cyber bullying is a huge issue and it is important for students to understand respectful use on social media and also to be aware that what they put out into the online world will be there forever and even though you can delete something on a surface level it still exists and can be found. This was a very engaging and informative talk by Jesse Millar. It helped me to reflect on my own digital footprint and social media curation and the importance of paying attention to what you are putting online and how you use it. It is especially important for teachers who are public figures and role models to growing minds. Since this talk I have curated my social media so that it only reflects my teaching philosophy and how I want to teach. Jesse Millar gave a great presentation and provided lots of different tech tools to help be safe online and teach safety and privacy to youth and parents.

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