At 29e AQUOPS conference, teachers question the concept of digital identity. How to warn students that their virtual image is often built without their knowledge without them understanding the real issues? Here is the report of a thought-provoking workshop.
Karine Thonnard, from the Federation of private education establishments (FEEP) is passionate about the issue ofNumeric identity. She occasionally meets with groups of parents to inform them on the subject and answer their questions. “Our identity on the Internet is as much about what we do as it is what we say,” she says. We all leave voluntary traces, that's what we say publicly. We all leave unintentional traces, and it happens every time we plug in. We must also all live with the traces inherited from others, that is to say what they broadcast about us ”.
Did you know that Spokeo, Pipl, 123people and even Google are some of the services that make it possible to verify the public image that we project on the Web? Did you know that, in the last 60 seconds, more than 500,000 comments have been posted on Facebook and 700,000 videos uploaded on Youtube (see Gary Social Media Count)? Did you know that Tagz is a recess star, like Facebook, and that many 10 to 14 year olds use inappropriate photos to describe themselves? Did you know that young people probably lie about their age to register (unbeknownst to their parents) with sites like DoYouLookGood? Did you know that Club penguin can apply for credit card numbers?
The habits of 0 to 17 year olds must be revisited, because this clientele represents at least 15% of social media users. “And they don't just use computers,” says Thonnard. They own mobile devices. If the use of technologies is growing exponentially, the age of users is decreasing. "
However, it turns out that young audiences are reluctant to hear a prevention message. Videos such as Once it's posted, it's permanent or Cyberbullying: it's violence are nevertheless a reflection of what happens every week in high schools in Quebec. “In conferences, many parents tell me that their children do not let them watch what they do on the Web,” she adds. Yet by doing so, parents find themselves condoning acts that are prohibited by law. "
Madame Thonnard believes that it is useless to block access to all these networks when young people are well informed (and it is even useless, since many of them are subscribed to the 3G network on their mobile device). So that education in good practices becomes a lever rather than a burden, she suggests informing, making people think and supporting. We need to help children think long term and make them realize that what they publish today can hurt them later. Even though privacy settings aren't foolproof, it's a good idea to teach them how to set them. And we cannot stress enough the importance of knowing well the people with whom they exchange information: are the friends of the friends of their friends really friends?
But is there any “good” about using social media? This is what the workshop co-facilitator, Judith Cantin, in charge of the local RÉCIT service at the CSSMI wonders. “Avoiding the fear campaign is a challenge,” she says. Watching a videoshock has no long-term impact. The young people have a good time, nothing more. "
She suggests some examples related to current events to analyze, evaluate, create and reflect on social media. What was the role of Twitter in the liberation of Egypt? What has been the role of YouTube in the success of Greyson Chance and the homeless person with the golden voice? Have you ever used the Twitterature or tried to raise the Borges challenges in class? Do you know the initiative of Maxime, from Sorel?
Here are some other resources that were discussed during this workshop:
Faced with social networks, what type of parent are you?
Commons Sense Media (in English)