“With the positives come the negatives.” -Carol Todd
This is a powerful quotation from Amanda Todd’s mother. I think it is very relevant, and it goes along with the idea that we need to be aware of both the positives and negatives of social media, and online presence. Even though these things can do a lot of great things, they can have a very negative impact as well. Being aware of these dangers is extremely important, and it goes along with being a responsible digital citizen. Her story really reinforced the importance of teaching students how to use the internet effectively. Something Carol said that really stuck out to me was this:
“Amanda could use technology very well. She learned the power of Youtube by herself.”
There is so many cases in which students explore technology by themselves, and are not taught the proper way in which to use it. It is awesome that kids can explore things and figure them out on their own. It teaches problem solving skills, along with many other things. In the same breath, this can be very dangerous. I think that it is very important to talk to students about online safely, the dangers of it, and how to get help if they need it. It is also important to teach that not everyone in this world uses technology for the good, and to make students aware of this. I think that by sharing Amanda’s devastating story, it can show students an example of how not everyone can be trusted. She was a young girl who was getting positive feedback from others, but as Carol said, with the positives came the negatives. I think that providing a real life example can be such a powerful learning tool, and Amanda’s story is an example of that. Carol’s willingness to share this story and to be so open to taking about her daughter’s life is so amazing. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be, and I am thankful that she took time to share the story with us.
Something else that really stood out was when she spoke about open communication. This is a vital component to teaching, and it is something I hope to have within my future classroom.
Relationships are what a classroom is built from, and that all begins with communication. If students are having problems online or are experiencing troubles, I want them to feel welcomed to come talk to me about it. When watching the documentary on Amanda’s life, I was shocked at the realities of the story. It is scary to think that there are people out there targeting children in these ways, and my heart hurts for the victims of these acts. She was threatened and blackmailed, and it is something that students should be aware of. By hearing about the realities of a real live person, it puts the situation in a whole new light. It also shows that just as Carol Todd said, you cannot believe everything you read online. There is not truth in everything we read, and it is extremely important to understand. Awareness is vital, and that is something Carol’s visit has taught me. Even though the internet gives us the opportunity to share, explore, and learn in a variety of different ways, people do not necessarily use this in a positive way. People can twist things and change them into something they are not, and Amanda’s story is an example of this.