Posting Students’ Lives

Our third topic in the EC&I 830 class was about posting students’ moments during their academic career. There was a debate between people who agreed with that and those who disagreed. Both groups demonstrated convincing attitudes and brought strong arguments. The agree group generally depended on the idea that posting a child’s life helps in forming his/her identity. However, from my own experience, instructors should consider the religious, cultural, and private aspects before sharing their students’ academic moments.

Some people may argue that is not serious to the cultural and religious extent.giphy (2)

By Giphy

But yes, when you, as a teacher, have students from diverse backgrounds and different religions in your class, that is what you should look at before posting online. That is serious.

giphy (3)

By Giphy

Indeed, children who grow in religious families are sensitive about posting their moments when they get older. For instance, some girls might feel offended when they realize, according to their religious standards, that their photos or videos should not be posted on internet “even if that was when they were young”. So, in this case, whom do they blame?

giphy (4)

Yes, it is the teacher at the first place. Not only some religious students are offended but also their parents are when they figure out that something happens against their beliefs. For example, a father of a girl student felt offended when he saw his daughter’s photo on the wall of honor in the school I taught at. He asked the teacher who posted the student’s photo to remove it immediately and to be respectful to their religious standards even though the girl was happy seeing her photo on that wall. We, her coworkers, really understand that her intention was not out of disrespect.

Another aspect is the cultural one. It is not only the religious standards. Some people think that they belong to a group of people in which sharing moments or photos is not decent; consequently, they apply that as a part of their traditions. Again, in my classroom, there were many students with tribal backgrounds. They were avoiding showing up in any photo or video. When I asked them why they disliked sharing moments, most of them answered that they would not disobey their tribal standards. Technically, it is because of their conservative backgrounds.

Furthermore, averting posting online could also be because of privacy issues. Some students do not trust the school online platform or any other platform in which their memories posted on. they think that it is almost public and accessible by everybody no matter what the security level of the platform is. As a result, those photos or videos can be easily haunted by hackers. Moreover, Myra Hamilton argues in Posting a child’s life for the world to see is a privacy issue that children might not be consent with that when they are adults for many reasons, “In addition to expecting their privacy as children to be protected, there’s also the issue of their privacy as future adults. What about when the child grows up? If the information is available on social media when the child reaches adolescence and adulthood, there’s a reserve of fodder for potential bullies at school, for potential employers, and for the media if they become prominent.” .

The reader might judge that I am not with celebrating the special moments in students’ lives. On the contrary, I believe that having our children’s achievements and embarrassing moments posted in a safe place is a must. It is their right to go back to those memories and achievements during life. Also, I am with the idea of posting online and sharing photos and videos but not before the consent of both children and their parents and caring  about their religion, background, and privacy.


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9 thoughts on “Posting Students’ Lives

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  1. I appreciate what you have brought to this debate Rakan. The points that you bring up are ones that I would have considered on my own. Without having firsthand knowledge to back me up, I can very much perceive how cultural backgrounds can play a role here.

    The reality that we see, assume and predicate our positions on may not be the same reality for everybody we teach.

    I wanted to comment on this right away to acknowledge you, but I am going to have to do some more thinking here!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great points, Rakan. As an ESL teacher, I need to consider the issues you bring up here regularly. Specifically, I imagine there must be complicated discussions between parents, children, and teachers in the K-12 system where there are students originating from cultural and religious backgrounds where photos/videos of individuals are not acceptable. I also wonder how being immersed in a Canadian classroom at a young age would shift – or not shift – some of those belief systems. Wanting to fit in with one’s peers can be such a powerful force for children (and not only children), and I’m sure there must be times when children wish to break away from the traditions of their culture/religion just to feel that they can blend in with their classmates. I imagine it must be extremely difficult for parents of children in these situations to have to face these dilemmas. I would hope and expect that teachers in the K-12 system in Canada are sensitive to this issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right Amy..the dilemma is there. I also think that teachers have a big part in that and they should be responsible for what they have. For you, I think it is not a big deal as you teach adults despite their diversity. Thanks for this comment


  3. Great point made in this post, Rakan. I teach at a school with a high EAL population and these are very important ideas that need to be considered before sharing photos online and even within the school. Many of the families I teach also have strong privacy beliefs and as teachers, it is most definitely our responsibility to honor those wishes and beliefs so they can maintain the identity they wish throughout their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for bringing this perspective into our class discussions, Rakan! I had not thought about or considered the cultural implications of sharing student work and/or photos online. This is something that teachers really need to take note of. My school division has a diverse population and many students and families may not be okay with this practice. We need to start including culture when we engage in conversations around digital citizenship, privacy, and online sharing. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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