Why are we not teaching our teachers how to navigate social media? #AoIR2019

by Sayraphim on October 1, 2019

So I’m currently at the Association of Internet Researchers 2019 conference up in Brisbane. As part of this I attended a satellite conference – 4rd Annual Young Creative Connected (YCC) Research Network Seminar Where I presented on a panel about Youtube and academics with Zoe Glatt and Kelli McGraw chaired by Jarrod Walczer.

(Pic by Zoe Glatt)

The panel was great! But the discussion afterwards is what has sparked this post.


Chatting to Kelli and Damien Spry afterwards, I realised a thing. We’re not teaching our pre-service teachers (or our teachers) how to navigate, use and be on social media as a semi-public person.

And QLD teachers are just told to delete all social media accounts. What do other states demand?

As teachers, we are told we’re always ‘on’, that parents or students out in the world will notice what we’re doing. This surely crosses to social media too, but the answer isn’t just making teachers delete their social media accounts once they have a job. We should be teaching our teachers how to have a social media profile that aligns with their public standing/persona.

Social media is a powerful tool. It can allow users to access amazing networks, exchange thoughts and ideas, learn new things for their professional and personal life. But it can also be a troublesome place, where dangerous (and not in a good way) ideas can be accessed and shared, people can be trolled and doxxed, fake news can be disseminated and bad moments/decisions can be spread around the world.

It’s just not good enough to say “these are difficult waters to navigate, so best you just stay in harbour” (Ok, I visited the QLD Maritime Museum yesterday and I’m all shipped up)

I posted about this on twitter and QLD teacher Alice Elwell responded, saying:

 “We should be able to have an online life.”

We also need to teach our teachers digital literacy and critical thinking so they don’t just put on the first youtube video about their subject that fits the time allotted to it, but to watch first and decide if it’s a GOOD resource to use. I’m teaching this to my pre-service (undergrad) teachers about resources in general (whose voice does it promote/whose voice is missing/what angle is it taking etc) but it’s also vitally important to teach this in regards to youtube too.


Ok, day three of the conference. Back soon…




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