As a cohort, we’ve been talking a lot about social media, cell phones, and technology – and how we anticipate these things fitting into our careers and pedagogies.

Jesse Miller, who “researches & discusses how people converge with Internet & technology, & how that convergence creates digital events making society interesting and/or problematic” came to visit our class on October 8th.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what he was saying and the topics he was bringing up!

1) A lot of the way I choose to spend my time online is reposting and magnifying messages I believe in, and these topics and issues can range from: environmentalism, anti-oppression and decolonization to sexual health and liberation, gender and sexuality diversity, and anti-state praxis. I believe strongly in discussing these topics, in not shielding young people from them, and rather lowering the age bar that we’ve arbitrarily set for content.

Anyway, right now, (sure, speaking as someone who doesn’t have a contract and hasn’t been in the system yet), I feel great with students seeing anything I’m post on the internet. I believe it aids and assists in my pedagogy for my students to see that I’m walking the talk I bring to class.

2) Jesse shared with us a story about an educator he knows in Vancouver. The teacher was on Grindr (outside of class hours) and stumbled upon a student. As soon as he could, the educator told his principal. The students’ parents were notified and the story is framed as positive and good for everyone involved.

Okay, but what happens when the information you find out about the student online (inadvertently or not) puts that student in a dangerous situation? What if in that instance, the student’s parents were notified, and they kicked the student out of their home because they were homoantagonistic and it goes against their values to have a queer child in their home?

I don’t see a clear answer in these situations.
But I do think this topic is complicated, and I’m left with more questions than answers!