Risk your privilege and raise your voice!

In our last ECI 831 class we spent time considering whether online social activism can be meaningful and worthwhile and whether educators have a responsibility to model active digital citizenship.

Photo Credit: Elijah van der Glessen

Examples of effective online social activism include campaigns like #blacklivesmatter and #idlenomore. I believe these social movements have been effective because they began as regional awareness campaigns that grew to become both national and international in reach and demanded the attention of millions of people and decision-makers worldwide.

These movements prompted people to act locally and provided ways for multiple localities to take action. They weren’t click-happy campaigns that hoped would raise awareness and through that awareness change the world.

I agree with a comment made by Colleen in her recent blog post. She says, “I think that instead of or in addition to hashtagging we need to make an effort to see how we can actively make a difference. This may be in the form of making a donation, but I also think we need to GO LOCAL and reach out to others in our           Photo Credit: Wikipedia                         community who are are working to make a difference to make positive changes in  our community.”

I think one of the most important aspects of activism, social media or otherwise, is the involvement and establishment of relationships with the community you wish to be part of the people you hope to advocate for/alongside. This idea is supported by a couple articles that I reviewed.

In The Case for Social Media and Hashtag Activism, social media activism is described as being “useless if it doesn’t create awareness that leads to action off the internet.” And, in How Effective is Social Media Activism, they discuss “[t]he only way to make a democracy work is to get off social media and do things in the real world.” Social media activism must have local actions associated with the online engagement.

What is our responsibility as educators to model active citizenship online?

In the article, Ethics in Online Activism: False Senses of Social Action or Effective Source of Change, by Rimah Jaber describes an ethical position on social media activism. They suggest that, “Online activism and social media campaigns ought to have serving the common good at the forefront of movements. Provoking change of a social issue should be done within reason and without personal or private gains. The focus of online activism should be moral and ethical, operating under systems of social action that are pure and noble.”

As justice oriented citizens, who exist within and outside of schools, have a responsibility to use our platforms and voices to bring attention to social injustices and work towards equality. This work is important and is actually part of our curriculum. Educators need to address their fears by pushing the boundaries and taking some risks in speaking out in their classrooms, communities, schools, and divisions to make space for positive social change.

If educators taught their students with a pedagogy of critical (digital) literacy and critical empathy they might find a new found confidence to speak to social justice issues with more authority. They might also find opportunities and rationale to do so with the support of the four goals of K-12 Social Studies and Social Sciences education of the Saskatchewan curriculum. Here, I believe educators can have a voice and take a position in their classrooms and online. Life your values – it is who you are!

I would like to challenge my ECI 831 classmates, and anyone else who is interested to risk your privilege by:

  • choosing an issue they care about;
  • finding a campaign that deals with the issue and engages the public through social media;
  • using your voice to tweet something (#eci831 @SalloumSteffany), anything, in solidarity with the people/issue;
  • writing a comment to me about what it was like for you and consider sharing your experience with your classroom or administrator.

Thanks for reading!

Anxiety leading up to the 12 week ultrasound!?!

Pregnancy Update: I have been feeling anxious for my first (12 week) ultrasound. There is a significant amount of pressure for pregnant women to have healthy pregnancies and babies.

This pressure comes is both self-inflicted and from society where women are given many do’s and don’ts during pregnancy.

My fears involve whether I am lifting or exercising too much, resting enough, or eating/drinking the wrong thing or getting enough of the right things. These fears can be paralyzing for the result could be low birth weight, birth defects, malnourishment, and miscarriage.

Over the last month, at least, I have been fairly inactive in part because I am exhausted, but also          via Giphy   

because I am afraid that if I do too much I could harm the fetus. It is clear that I have some knowledge to gain about proper nutrition and exercise during pregnancy. If you have been pregnant or have been the cook for someone who is pregnant, what tools did you use to ensure a nutritious diet and exercise plan? If you have any thoughts or resources on how to exercise and eat well while pregnant please share and stay tuned to future blogs where I will explore these ideas!   

So, I am excited for the next trimester and am anxious for the results of the first ultrasound and hope to learn whether the fetus is healthy. In order to prepare for the ultrasound I evaluated my level of knowledge about ultrasounds by taking a quiz. Find out what you know about ultrasounds by taking the quiz at BabyCenter.ca

Development: between week 11 and 13 the fetus’ body is straightening out; hair follicles, finger and toe nail beds form; they no longer have webbed hands; ovaries are developing if it is a girl; the intestines develop inside the umbilical cord; and there is vocal cord development. (Source: What to Expect When You Are Expecting, 5th Edn.)

Symptoms: fatigue, headaches, constipation, bloating, and some nausea, but less than the previous weeks.

On October 6th I went for the first ultrasound and learned that based on the size and length of the fetus, it is 12 weeks and 2 days along in its development. It’s heart beats 161 times per minute and it is 5.6 cm long.

During the ultrasound we did a nuchal translucency screening in order to determine whether the fetus has any early signs of Down Syndrome or other health concerns.

I feel very lucky to be able to report that there were no concerns with the screening and so far the fetus is healthy! In order to celebrate I thought I would share a pretty funny video that my classmate, and supermom, Coralee Czinkota mentionted to me in a blog comment. Enjoy!