Why Teachers And Students Should Not Be Facebook Friends
Social media accounts have become an integral part of our social lives. Most students have at least a Facebook account and it’s safe to say that many of their teachers and professors do as well. Social media channels are useful because they make it easier for teachers to reach out to students but this type of contact may not always be appropriate. Some school districts are setting up stricter rules in regards to student and teacher contact. Let’s take a look at how teachers establish proper boundaries while still taking advantage of social media.
NY Public School Teachers
Public teachers working in New York have been banned to contact students via personal social media accounts, personal e-mail and cell phone. However, communication through public accounts set up for classroom use is fine. This measure does not ban teachers from using social media, only using their personal accounts to contact students which may blur the lines between appropriateness. It is important for teachers to establish a clear boundary between the students; the teacher is an authority figure and not a personal friend.
Teachers Are Held To A Higher Standard
Teachers and professors have to be extra careful about what they post on their social media accounts. Schools may even monitor social media accounts in order to ensure that everything posted is inappropriate. School employees can easily bypass this by making their Facebook profiles private; this would make it impossible for individuals not on their friends list to view their personal pages. In addition, school staff also need to be mindful of their Facebook profile photo even if their account is private. It’s never a good idea to post anything risqué or questionable.
So What Is Acceptable?
Teachers can use their school e-mail accounts for contact purposes in case a student has questions about an assignment or exam. Using school e-mail accounts ensures that everyone is held accountable for what they write. Teachers can also set up public sites or groups where students can post and ask questions. Another option is a public Facebook page where assignments, exam dates and additional links and info can be posted. Students would be able to post comments and ask questions in a public and open setting. All interactions need to be professional and school related.
Social Media Will Continued To Be Used In The Classroom
Technology has changed the education landscape forever and it is undeniable that social media can facilitate learning. These stricter measures don’t mean that technology will be abandoned. It only means that strict lines will be drawn between what is considered appropriate contact and what is not.