Student privacy is an issue that I have recently thought about a lot. Currently, I am taking a course in collaborative inquiry wherein the topic of the benefits of online collaboration for teachers and students is prominent. In the past, I never used online collaboration for my students but now that I have been educated on sites such as Edmondo and knowledge forums that allow for students to build on their knowledge through the sharing of ideas and engaging in discourse with their peers, I feel that engaging in online learning can be greatly beneficial for the students. However, when it comes to anything that is shared online, privacy should always be taken seriously. In my own personal life I am very careful with the information that I share online and what I make public, educating our students to do the same is also very important. So, when it comes to the work of our students, should they share it online? I feel that there are pros and cons to doing so.
Pro- by sharing our work it allows us to help educate others, bringing light to something that others may not have thought about before OR it can help our own knowledge develop as others may comment and ask questions that can help to develop our knowledge on the topic that we are posting on.
CON-perhaps sharing our work online would give way for other students to use work that wasn’t their own which may affect their own learning as perhaps they wouldn’t put in as much research into an assignment as they would have if they did the assignment on their own.
However, at the end of the day, I feel that building our knowledge through the sharing of ideas and working together to answer questions that perhaps we never thought of before is an excellent way to learn, after all “learning occurs through interaction with peers” (Barron, 2000). By using the internet to share our work we open up our knowledge beyond the limits of the classroom which can potentially allow for feedback from those with different backgrounds and ideas that can help to develop a deeper and more inclusive knowledge of the material that we are learning At the end of the day, I think that having our students share their work online is greatly beneficial and protecting their privacy at the same time, perhaps by not sharing their identity is necessary.
Barron, B. 2000. Achieving coordination in collaborative problem-solving groups. Journal of the Learning Sciences . Vol. 9 pp. 403-436.