Yesterday, I began sharing out some data that I collected from my sixth grade students about their use and perceptions of technology in their lives as we lead up to Digital Learning Day on Wednesday. Today, I want to share out the data from questions about social networking, but in particular, about my students’ use of Facebook and Instagram. I should note that my kids are 11 and 12 years old — not officially old enough for Facebook and Instgram (as if Zuckerberg and company really care).
- The percentage of my students who are on Facebook seems to have dropped this year, from last. I don’t know if an informational email that I sent earlier this year to all parents with information about Facebook (age levels, advice on how to monitor traffic, controlling privacy settings, etc.) had any impact but I am glad that the numbers are not growing.
- It’s clear that my students view social networking spaces for the value of connections among friends more than sharing of information. But still …a fair number on FB are sharing images and videos, and probably not at all considering the privacy ramifications, nor their digital footprints (that will be our topic next week).
- I notice a few students are using Facebook without parent knowledge. That always concerns me. I know, from experience, how hard it is to keep track of what our children are doing. But it is critical.
- More than half the class is on Instagram now, which means they are probably sharing a lot of photos. This app will be a main focus next week, I think, as we talk about privacy issues. I also know that they probably have access to a lot of inappropriate content in those spaces (thus, the age 13 level).