Take back the learningscape

I’ve had this story bookmarked recently and it keeps popping up when I log in to remind me.

‘I feel like I’m in a personal hell’: Leslie Jones bombarded on Twitter with racist, sexist comments and abuse

It doesn’t take long to find related stories on the topic, if you wish.

It seems to me that this summer has been particularly bad and abrasive on social media.  

Now, there have always been nasty people online.  They hide behind their keyboards and just spew this sort of crap.  Under the illusion of anonymity, they feel like they can say anything.  Even without a fake account, there are those that just go on a rampage.  Somehow, it’s become the acceptable thing to do.  There are some people who just live for the negative.  

Until recently, I’ll confess that I didn’t do much about it.  I get many follows or “friend” requests and I’ve pretty much ignored the sketchy ones.  However, the number seems to be on the rise and I actually spent some time to determine the procedure for social networks to report abusive accounts.  I’ll be equally as honest; once I’ve reported them, I don’t follow up to see if there are consequences.

While nowhere near the pain incurred by Ms. Jones, I’ve had my share of trolls and just creepy experiences.  I’m not sure that I totally understand the principles behind “passive/aggressive” but I do try to do my bit.  My typical mechanism is not to lash out but just go ahead and recuse myself from any further interactions and block/report if I feel it’s appropriate.  

It’s easy enough to blame the situation on the US Election and the negativism that’s so visible there.  Does the fact that such a highly visible event gets involved make it somehow acceptable to do it everywhere?  

I’d hate the thought of shutting down.  It goes so completely against what I believe.  I’ve learned so much from so many that I wouldn’t know if I bumped into them on a street.  These people are awesome, giving unselfishly of their learning, so that we can all benefit.  For that, I’m so thankful.  Without the social media connections, we’d never have met.

Now that August is here, we’re just a month before school starts again here in Ontario.  Many teachers use social media and I’ve seen it being used online with AQ courses, often introducing the value for teachers there.  That’s awesome because there is so much that can be done by giving education its voice and making the proper connections.

There’s also the etiquette.  I hope that education isn’t learning that you can be mean and hateful because that’s what is expected.  

Nothing could derail progress quicker.

Plan now to head it off.

George Couros shared a very nice post on the topic a few years ago “What should a networked educational leader tweet about?



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