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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Creating student identity

We've received our rosters-we're learning their faces. But who are these new students? If asked, many of them might not be able to say.

In a digital age, we have many mailable identities. On Twitter I'm OceanEyes729 and I tweet and follow those who write about technology for teachers. My Twitter identity is made up of my tweets and those I follow. On Facebook, I'm a fan of a lot of things-Despicable Me, etc.
So according to the internet I'm a techie teacher who likes children's movies.
But wait.
I can get on my Facebook and fan a lot of things that don't really describe me. This way, I can create a false identity.

For incoming college students, Facebook is a great way to make new friends. Find people who like the same artists as you! But does that mean that they'll make good friends in real life? I show this clip to my students on identity day-who are your friends, and does the concept of friendship change on the internet?

Another part of our identity is how we dress. At public schools, the idea is more visible-goth kids wear black, etc. This is a quick way to show your identity to others (hey, I'm wearing black-I'm a goth!) but this idea can quickly change with new fashion movements or when others have a different label for you (Are Vampire kids the new Goths?).

The French ban on the Hijab calls into question one's identity. If we create our identity through religion and dress, how can a government ban such expression? To some, the Hijab represents purity, to others, oppression. Some argue that as the Hijab is not described in the Koran, it is a way to suppress women. This would be a great discussion for a Socratic circle!

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