Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Safety on the computer

I was reading the other blogs about invites to Facebook and MySpace. I get people inviting me to join all the time but I just delete their emails. They don't have to know that I never join and I don't have to worry about hurting their feelings by declining. No one has ever said anything to me so I don't think it is a problem not to join.

I have gone the odd time and looked at MySpace accounts of students (not my students) to see what they say on there and these kids had a lot of swearing, the F word seems to be a favourite term these days. The profiles talked about their sex lives, their use of drugs and alchohol and the latest parties they attended and how drunk they were going to get the next weekend.

These kids were fourteen to sixteen and had invited me to join MySpace.

The question Dean talked about tonight was how do we handle that - if they are students in our classrooms? Are their private accounts private? Do we have a right to know what is on there? Would that be like reading a printed copy of someones personal diary?

My view is that I would advise them of the reasons why "I think" they should not post certain things on their site that may hinder them in future employment options and for other reasons. Employers are google searching names before the interview these days or searching YouTube for videos. I know when I need an employee for my equine photo work I will see what comes up under their name and I do not know much about doing a search. An employer such as SIAST would be able to do a thorough search on a potential employee.

But I still believe it is as private as a diary and that I do not have the right as a teacher to forbid students to post certain things - I think we need to give them the information and hope they follow through.

Of course I am talking about their own private time at home and not at school. At school I would not use MySpace or others - in my classroom for the above reasons. It's not my place to monitor it - so I would not use it.


Shareski said...

Do you believe it's private because they don't realize it's public or simply because it's "there space"?

Red Neck Girl said...

They must know it is public, in my opinion, because on the profiles I have looked at people are listed as friends from all over the place. When you set up your account they must ask if you want your space to be public or private as well, so they know what they put on there can be seen by everyone.

I think they just want a space to express themselves and sometimes you do that before you remember that other people can see it as well.

I guess in my opinion it really is "their space" and if I don't like what I see there - then maybe I shouldn't be looking.

Then again, my opinion is likely to change when my daughter gets to be fourteen!!

Will I snoop in her space?? Do you go through your kids dresser?

Is it different for a parent??

Hmmm, upon reflecting I see I look at things different from a parent's perspective. I would monitor my daughter's sites - if I could find them!! Ha Ha.

Jane said...

You bring forth some strong arguments as to why perhaps we should leave our private life private. As of right now I am "sitting on the fence" on the issue.
I am going to do some blog searches tonight and see what I can come up with.

smytheg2001 said...

Hi Ronda,
After reading your comments and thoughts, i wanted the chance to reflect on some of this with you. You had asked me if I worried about pictures coming up but I really don't. I think that I am smart enough to put myself in a situation where anyone would have anything inappropriate of myslef, but really who knows. That has been a risk all along and I'm not sure having myslelf on facebook puts myself anymore at risk for malicious behaviour then before.
I see why you would be concerned about employers but at the same time, I think a picture of me 'goofing around' whould be much less relevant to them then my skills, education and abilities.
I was a little surprised by your comment about how things on the internet have worked against you. I have never googled myself so i am uncertain what I'd find but I can see why you would want to be cautious in general and I also agree 100 % on teaching children the possibilities and potential for harm.