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Informal Poll--please respond!!
Last Post 08 Jan 2012 04:27 PM by Melissa Parma. 7 Replies.
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Melissa ParmaUser is Offline Senior Member Senior Member Posts:914
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04 Aug 2011 05:48 PM
    The state of Missouri just enacted a new law that prohibits teachers from friending students on Facebook or other social media. While this makes sense if the teacher's account is a personal one, some teachers have separate "school business" Facebook accounts set up specifically to promote dialogue and communication among students and between students and the teacher about academic issues and questions. Another teacher reported to LTF that his district has asked teachers to sign agreements in which they state they don't have Facebook accounts, period.

    We have members on this forum from all over the USA, so we'd like to know: Is your state or district or region freaking out about social media? Are there new rules by which you must play? Let us know, because LTF has been enhancing its presence in the Facebook and Twitter worlds; now we fear we won't be able to reach out to teachers through these media.

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    To start the conversation, my district has a policy that prohibits teachers from friending their own students unless there is some other connection outside of school that is family-related, church-related, that sort of thing. It's a common-sense sort of policy, I think. At the same time, my school and my district have Twitter feeds and Facebook pages; clearly they're wrestling with setting the right boundaries.

    What is happening in your area?

    Melissa

    Tammy CagannUser is Offline New Member New Member Posts:20
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    04 Aug 2011 09:08 PM
    In Ysleta ISD we don't have a policy against friending students (yet), but it is certainly discouraged. I myself tell my students that we cannot be friends until they graduate, and a friend of mine has the rule that they have to wait until December of the year they graduate.

    We are discouraged from any kind of electronic communication, especially texting. If we do plan on having any kind of electronic communication with our students, we have to submit a form that describes the contact. And, of course, Facebook is blocked by our firewall.

    I know of one teacher on my campus who has a Twitter account for each of his classes where he posts assignments and reminders. I'm seriously considering doing that for AP Stats this year. Over the past two years I've had a rather small number of AP Stats students and I have texted them quite a bit. When I taught calculus, students would call with questions. Now they text. I would also send out reminders, and I was able to text them their scores when I got them online before they got them in the mail.

    I know that there is at least one school with a Twitter feed, but not mine. And organizations have Facebook pages like our band and football team. There's a balance between using the available technology and communicating with students the way they are accustomed to communicating, and leaving yourself open to possible problems

    There are a lot of folks out there who do silly things, and some students who don't understand where the line is in the relationship.
    Tammy Cagann
    Riverside High School
    Ysleta ISD
    El Paso, TX
    Tammy CagannUser is Offline New Member New Member Posts:20
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    04 Aug 2011 09:08 PM
    In Ysleta ISD we don't have a policy against friending students (yet), but it is certainly discouraged. I myself tell my students that we cannot be friends until they graduate, and a friend of mine has the rule that they have to wait until December of the year they graduate.

    We are discouraged from any kind of electronic communication, especially texting. If we do plan on having any kind of electronic communication with our students, we have to submit a form that describes the contact. And, of course, Facebook is blocked by our firewall.

    I know of one teacher on my campus who has a Twitter account for each of his classes where he posts assignments and reminders. I'm seriously considering doing that for AP Stats this year. Over the past two years I've had a rather small number of AP Stats students and I have texted them quite a bit. When I taught calculus, students would call with questions. Now they text. I would also send out reminders, and I was able to text them their scores when I got them online before they got them in the mail.

    I know that there is at least one school with a Twitter feed, but not mine. And organizations have Facebook pages like our band and football team. There's a balance between using the available technology and communicating with students the way they are accustomed to communicating, and leaving yourself open to possible problems

    There are a lot of folks out there who do silly things, and some students who don't understand where the line is in the relationship.
    Tammy Cagann
    Riverside High School
    Ysleta ISD
    El Paso, TX
    Auston CronUser is Offline New Member New Member Posts:96
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    05 Aug 2011 06:13 AM
    In the PSJA district, there is no policy that I know of yet. But personally, I do not have any social networking accounts. I do not believe that it is an appropriate media for teachers to utilize. I had a small group of students create an account in my name a few years ago as a joke. It took several months for me to get the account purged from the Internet.

    Social networking, IMHO, has gotten many teachers in trouble with their community. I know of a few teachers that have been called into administration for what is on their accounts. Even though, you can set privacy settings, this is not a guarantee of privacy. Social networking is notorious for not being secure; their privacy settings are not even 128 bit secure nor are they encoded with high level security settings.

    Employers are hiring companies to secure private information on potential employees and current employees from social networking networks to explore their background. I may be paranoid, but I do not want to use social networking. E-mail is sufficient for me. Federal regulations require all employers to keep all e-mails sent through their systems for 7 years, this includes even deleted junk mail that is received.

    Tony
    Joseph CainUser is Offline New Member New Member Posts:2
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    15 Aug 2011 02:40 PM
    I highly recommend never friending students on FB. If you want yo use it set up a page/ group they can join. This way you can communicate without being friends. If you are able and do in fact see what they post you put yourself in a risky situation considering both what they share and the fact we are mandated reporters.
    Joseph CainUser is Offline New Member New Member Posts:2
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    15 Aug 2011 02:40 PM
    I highly recommend never friending students on FB. If you want yo use it set up a page/ group they can join. This way you can communicate without being friends. If you are able and do in fact see what they post you put yourself in a risky situation considering both what they share and the fact we are mandated reporters.
    Auston CronUser is Offline New Member New Member Posts:96
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    07 Jan 2012 07:48 AM
    There is an article in eSchool News on this that may be of interest: www.eschoolnews.com/current-issue/?pagenumber=9

    It is a free newsletter, to read further you would need to subscribe. I find many interesting articles in this effecting topics like this.

    Tony
    Melissa ParmaUser is Offline Senior Member Senior Member Posts:914
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    08 Jan 2012 04:27 PM
    Thanks for the link, Tony. For those of you who clicked on it and found yourself on a page of the newsletter that talked about Microsoft being contracted to run the US Dept of Education's website for teacher recruitment and retention, you can get to the various social media articles by clicking forward through the newsletter. There are several that relate to the Facebook issue.

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