That wasn’t even close.
I do appreciate the idea of openness and sharing online, though I do, personally, have so many reservations, both as a teacher and as a person.
We don’t own the content you provide – students and their schools own all Student Data added to Seesaw.
However, in order to provide our Services, we need certain limited rights to your content. You grant Seesaw the right to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display, and distribute your content solely so that Seesaw can provide our services. Seesaw may modify or adapt your content as necessary to meet any requirements or limitations of any networks or devices.
Being aware of what you’ve agreed to on the behalf of your students is incredibly important and can be taught as an introductory lesson to the use of the site.
Let me be clear: I’m not saying “do not use!”. I think it looks slick, well-organized, teacher and student friendly, and it looks like it has worked very hard to protect students. They are also very compliant with not only American law, but they work with international law as well in order to protect their users.
This website can help you along with that.
One of the greatest mistakes people on the internet make is not reading your Terms of Service. Everyone (including myself: Netflix just had an update this week — didn’t read it. Apple just updated my iOS — didn’t read it. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Gmail all have long, dense Terms of Service — didn’t read them).
(For fun, this website [though this one is a joke, it’s funny in “it’s funny because it’s true sort of way] and this website [though it is Cracked and it is a few years old, so take with a grain of salt] go over some interesting information that was in Terms of Service.)
Students need to learn to make sense of what they’re agreeing to in order to become more cognizant of the information they’re giving away. In order for teachers to teach this, they need to be aware of it as well.
For a worst-case scenario of what I’m talking about, I’ll refer back to a debacle that occurred a couple months ago (again, worst-case scenario): LeapFrog toys were discovered to have a vulnerability that could potentially expose children to all sorts of breaches of privacy.Being aware of technology tools capabilities is important for parents and educators. In this case, children would have been better off using a laptop rather than the supposedly “closed garden” LeapFrog.
Ok. Enough doom and gloom.
Student online sharing is no longer becoming a nice addition or an alternative to an essay. Online sharing is becoming more and more important as classrooms become more open to the world.
As the article “The Benefits of Online Student Work in Online Space” discusses, online sharing increases transparency in the classroom. As teachers, we are coming under closer and closer scrutiny of our job and what exactly we do in the classroom besides babysit for 6 hours a day.
Online sharing shows educational stakeholders exactly what students and teachers are capable of, for the good or bad.
The kind of accountability associated with online sharing is unprecedented in teaching, where before the internet, accountability occurred when your principal or superintendent strolled by your room.
Global citizenship (as overused as the phrase has become) means that students have to be prepared to enter a world where communication skills are paramount. Understanding how to navigate the world of LinkedIn, About.me, and online resumes (seriously. look at that last link.) as well as participate within it are important new world skills.
The issue, again, as it has been in the previous debates is buy-in and understanding from teachers.
Teachers are creatures of habit (probably because of the nature of our job). Getting teachers to try new, untested, unfamiliar things with untrustworthy technology is hard.
But this is necessary.
Finally, as an individual, I’m leery of the online world. I participate in as an anonymous way as I can get away with. I’m no Luddite. I love technology. But, I also don’t trust the altruistic nature of online companies. As a teacher, I’m going to have to work on my hermit vs sharer self in order to better serve my students.