EDTC Debates Round Two: My Turn in the Ring

DEBATE 1

For the first debate, it was my turn to take a stand on the topic: “Social Media ruining childhood”, which I was on the agreeing end against Molly Yungmann which, overall, was a great battle (even though I think I won). Here is a list of some of my main takeaways from the debate.

(Me) Social Media IS ruining childhood:

  • “Influencers” on Social Media are exposing things to children that they should never have to at such a young age
  • Parents are exploiting their children for fame through social media
  • Mental, emotional, and even physical health are all at risk on social media, from children who place their value on likes, as well as the ease of bullying that social media has allowed

(Molly) Social Media is NOT ruining Childhood:

  • Social Media allows for community, collaboration, and creativity like never before.
  • Technology
  • is not going anywhere. Students should learn digital literacies from a young age.
  • Kids (who struggle with making friends, or just in general) are able to build relationships, even through Covid.

While our debate did go down a bit of a rabbit whole as to what constitutes as Social Media, I think the main question to discuss would be, “is childhood worse off than it was before social media, or just different?”. Many argued that it was just different, but I would say that it is a bit of both.

Looking at Molly’s Articles (Article 1, Article 2) that look at technology is the context of education, I would agree that childhood is very different as teachers are finding new ways to use social media as a tool for learning, and as the one article points out, “these tools present many educational advantages for both students and instructors, hence, contribute in providing opportunities for further learning”.

On the other hand, social media has created a whole new set of pressures for kids who now need constant gratification and place their value in all the wrong things, which can take a huge hit to their mental health. We see this in the video I shared, where the most important thing to kids is fame because it is all they see around them all the time and that is not healthy for anyone, especially for kids who are still developing.

My stance on this issue is that we need to be careful with when and how children are using social media. I believe that they can be great tools that build communication, collaboration, and creativity, I also know that there are restrictions saying that you need to be 13 to create an account for a reason. Even the social media platforms themselves see the dangers of having kids being exposed to social media at such a young age. But I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

DEBATE 2

For the second debate it was Jordan vs Jessie on the topic of: “Surveillance of student data and online activities by school systems is necessary to ensure student safety. Here are the notes I have from both sides:

(Jordan) Surveillance of student’s data IS necessary

  • Form of protection for students and school
  • Form of early protection against bullying, threats to school, suicide prevention, etc.
  • Protection from hackers
  • Contact tracing

(Jesse) Surveillance of student’s data is NOT necessary

  • Privacy is necessary
  • People should be responsible for their own actions
  • If we are teaching students to be safe, they are less likely to make mistakes in the first place
  • Students are learning much faster, they can know more than the adults in certain cases
  • Is someone going to feel safe searching about their sexuality in a school district that has strong views against that?
  • “If we need to watch over everything students do, we have failed them”

Honestly, I would say that this was one of the closest debates yet and there were great arguments made going both ways.

Looking at Jesse’s points and articles, the fact is, surveying students data can get out of control and turn into a breach of privacy. As well, like his article point out, “if you push too hard [monitoring what students do], teens will go underground which will make it even more difficult to keep up”. Kids are smart when it comes to technology, and if they really want to, they can find ways around tracking, but that is besides the point. Jessie points out that there are better ways to make sure students are safe online than tracking their data, such as blocking certain sites, or better yet, teaching kids the proper ways to be safe.

When it comes to Jordan’s side, she argues that tracking data is necessary to make sure the wellbeing and safety of the school is upheld. This would be my main stance on the issue as well. My belief is that, even looking past the safety of the students, it is also necessary for the school to protect themselves in the chance that something does happen, such as a student breaking the law, or planing to harm themselves or others. If something like that were to happen on a school network or device and there was not surveillance, the school would be held responsible.

Once again, this is a very good discussion and one that could go either way and I would love to hear your thoughts on either one of these debates.

Until next round!

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