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Teachers Protest Social Media Ban

by Team Caffeine · 0 comments

lori r taylor, revmediamarketing, social media, social media marketing, branding, product branding, networking, oneclicksocietyTeachers, Leave Them kids Alone
That was the word from Missouri officials who passed legislation prohibiting teachers from contacting students on any social networking site. Specifically facebook.
On the surface you might agree with this move. Why should they use social media to communicate with students when there are so many other ways for them to keep in touch?

The answer is simple enough and has as much to do with why businesses are going online as it does with why teachers should be: because that’s where their audience is.

Today’s students were born into a purely digital age. They don’t know what a compact disc is and they don’t use e-mail to communicate.

If we prohibit teachers from communicating with students via social media we are forcing a divide between those two groups that will be difficult for teachers to overcome. And why is it ok for them to spend personal time in the classroom and after school but not communicate with them via social media?

The fact is, and decision to keep teachers and students away from each other, limiting their communication, is not only bad for education, it is bad for the future of our students.

Specifically, they’re prohibited from befriending or following their classes in virtual environments like Facebook and Twitter.

According to DigitalBurg.com:

The law was proposed after an Associated Press investigation found 87 Missouri teachers had lost their licenses between 2001 and 2005 because of sexual misconduct, some of which involved exchanging explicit online messages with students.

The teachers are now protesting this stemming of extra-curricular interaction, declaring that it impedes their capacity to offer advice, additional scholastic attention, even emergency help.

Last year, the Chronicle of Higher Education focused on Tanya M. Joosten, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, who gives out her Facebook address to students, uses privacy settings to control what various “friends” can see, and posts updates to her course’s Facebook page, which are automatically pushed to the pages of students who follow it. And in the case of younger students, social media’s two-way communications capabilities have helped parents, law officials and teachers track and rescue children who are the victims of natural disasters like earthquakes and tornadoes.

Neither argument is black-and-white. In a 2009 article in TheJournal.com, Patricia Deubel wrote:

The National School Board Association [NSBA] published results of three surveys regarding social networking, which included 9- to 17-year-olds, parents, and school district leaders in charge of Internet policy…more than 50 percent talk specifically about schoolwork’…schools and especially parents have strong expectations about the positive roles that social networking could play in students’ lives, and both are interested in social networking as a tool.

The NSBA makes clear references to several caveats, of course, each of which prioritizes the safety of all students.

Click here to read the entire article.

Team Caffeine

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