Student privacy is this weeks #edublogsclub prompt. Ouch and ugh and all of those step on toes feels here.
I LOVE taking pictures and sharing all of the cool and wonderful things that go on in my world both as a mom and a teacher. I took 86 pictures TODAY.. and today was a ho-hum Wednesday full of nothing special, but 86 picture worthy moments in my mind.
Here are some of the pictures from my classroom today.
Because I know that I am going to take thousands of pictures over the course of the year, I send a special release form home with the students at the start of school. While the vast majority of the pictures that I take are of hands in action, I do have clearance to take pictures of faces and video of students in action.
On my release form I also ask about posting to social media and the identification of students. While I have a couple of students each year that can’t be identified by name and face because of CPS issues and such like that, almost every parent wants the pictures of their student posted to social media so that they can share the pictures with their family and friends.
In fact, any of you readers who might be interested can watch the shenanigans from my world on:
- Facebook at Stephenville High School Art
- Instagram at emilymaxwellmclemore or SvilleArt
- Twitter at artsymac or SvilleArt
If you are interested in seeing completed art projects, you can check out my student’s work at Artsonia at Stephenville High School I am very proud to say that I have published 1000 pieces of art just this school year! I can’t wait to see what we will be able to do next year when our campus goes 1:1 and the students can easily upload their own pieces!!
What is frustrating here is that Artsonia changed their user agreement this year and required parents to sign on with their email address and approve their child’s accounts. Previously, parents could sign a consent form and authorize the school to upload their child’s work without an email address.
In my world of economically disadvantaged students with a great number of non-English speaking parents, this has been a continuing problem as many parents will happily sign the consent form, but they don’t have access to go online and set up parent accounts. I expressed this frustration to Artsonia, but to no avail. Because of this, while all the parent/guardian’s approved their child’s artwork to be published online, 69 students or 418 pieces year-to-date are hidden from the public. Sad.
Nonetheless, I can say that yes, I take tons of pictures and post students in action almost on a daily basis. I understand privacy issues but sometimes get caught up in the moment. Living in the land of teens, I am usually just focused on making sure that I don’t get shots of cleavage while taking a picture of hands at work or making sure that I don’g get a clear shot of what is on their phone. While it is almost always the screen of their music.. you never know!
In the end, student privacy and social media is an ever evolving issue. In today’s world filled with constant scrutiny and fear over loss of educational dollars, using social media to promote the incredible authentic teaching and learning that is going on in public schools is crucial. The best defense is an even better offense. I make sure that my community, district administrators and parents know that when student’s enter my classroom that their time is used wisely, that they are engaged in meaningful activities and that visitor’s are welcome.
One thought on “Student Privacy vs Friends, Friends of Friends or Public”
Hi Emily, We experienced similar problems with parents unable to just sign a document, so during our school’s Open House in the fall, I opened the library and used my generic login on student computers to enable parents to apply for sign-ins to our district system. It was very successful, so you might talk to your school’s librarian about helping parents access your system during your next school event that those parents would be attending. BrP