To post or not to post?

I’ve decided to address a very controversial issue in my blog post. Well, it seems it is not controversial at all for most of the people, but it is something that has puzzled me for a while. This is not going to be a very long post as I do not have any answers to the questions I would like to raise.

We are all online all the time. Most of us have a Facebook profile, post pictures on Instagram, tweet, blog, have a Pinterest account, have a LinkedIn profile and so on. However, we are all very worried about online privacy or so it seems. Most of us set up our privacy settings the secure way, that is, we want to be out there but we want to be safe at the same time.

But, what happens when it comes to posting our students’ pictures? Shouldn’t we worry about other people’s privacy, as well?

I know a lot of teachers who like sharing pictures of their students so that other people can see what they do in class. When I look at these pictures, I keep asking myself a lot of questions… Do students really want to be there? Do they know their teachers post these pictures on Facebook, Instragram, etc.? Have they let their teachers do it? What about children? Do their parents know about it? Have they given these teachers permission to do so?

Some time ago I found out that all city-run public schools in Caxias do Sul in Rio Grande do Sul ask students (who are over 18) and parents to sign a document in which they state that they give teachers and the school permission to use their pictures and their children’s pictures in school newsletters, on blog posts, etc. This has helped raise teachers’ and students’ awareness of how important it is to talk about it.

So, what’s your opinion about it? I would love to hear from you as I’ve been very concerned about it.

micheleschwertner

Michele Schwertner is a freelance teacher, teacher trainer, and e-moderator. She has been teaching English for over 20 years and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Educational Technologies at UFSM (Universidade Federal de Santa Maria). Her research and teaching interests lie in teacher development, distance education, CALL, digital learning/teaching materials and resources, e-moderating, multimodalities and multiliteracies.

4 Comments
  • Luke Baxter
    Luke Baxter
    Posted at 09:18h, 02 setembro Responder

    As a parent in the UK, we are always being told that we musn’t post any pictures of any children other than our own. So if we take photos of the school play or similar events, we are always warned not to post them on social media. I think that the same applies to teachers and schools, which I think is right.
    Once you post a picture to Facebook you have actually ceded ownership of that photo to Facebook. This is in their Terms and Conditions, which none of us read!! We had a visit from a police officer who was speaking to us and our children about these issues and she told us a story about a boy with very bad acne. His parents had taken him out of school because he was being bullied and they went to Scotland to get away from it all. When they were there, they saw his picture in an acne skincare product advertisement. Facebook had sold this picture to the skincare company and there was nothing they could do about it.

  • Malu Sciamarelli
    Posted at 17:51h, 12 setembro Responder

    Good points, Michele! Privacy and, above all, respect, are subjects that should always be addressed, and specially taught in schools. Here where I work, we deal with it in a very simple way: parents and adult students sign in contract if they want their pictures to be posted on social media on not. Besides that, all the teachers who do publicise pictures (including myself) always ask them about specific cases. Everyone is happy, respected and their privacy protected!

    • Michele Schwertner
      Michele Schwertner
      Posted at 01:19h, 27 janeiro Responder

      I do agree with you, Malu. We should talk to students and parents about it and respect their decisions.
      BTW, thanks a lot for sharing your views on it.
      Best,
      Michele

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