Posted by & filed under ethics, FaceBook, Human Resources, online education, Privacy, Social Media.

Description: Nkomo Morris is one of many teachers who uses Facebook to communicate with students. Despite the perceived benefits of interacting with students in a comfortable environment, personal and professional lines can quickly become blurred with Facebook usage.

Source: cbsnews.com

Date: April 19 2012

Should students and teachers ever be friends on Facebook? School districts across the country, including the nation’s largest, are weighing that question as they seek to balance the risks of inappropriate contact with the academic benefits of social networking.

At least 40 school districts nationwide have approved social media policies. Schools in New York City and Florida have disciplined teachers for Facebook activity, and Missouri legislators recently acquiesced to teachers’ objections to a strict statewide policy.

In the New York cases, one teacher friended several female students and wrote comments including “this is sexy” under their photos, investigators said. A substitute teacher sent a message to a student saying that her boyfriend did not “deserve a beautiful girl like you.” Read Rest of Story

Questions for discussion:

1. What are the individual risks and brand risks involved in teacher-student Faceboook communication?
2. What are the individual benefits and brand benefits involved in teacher-student Facebook communication?

5 Responses to “Should teachers and students be Facebook friends?”

  1. Le Liu

    Teacher stands for profession and authority. It is necessary for students and teacher to be in a social distance and teachers need to be respected by students. Too much personal life exposure does not add educational value but lower student’s expectations for teacher. Furthermore, some of the teachers could not deal with teacher and students relationship properly.

    Social media sites help students to extend the classroom for the students who miss class or forget assignments. It is a good way for teachers to communicate with students and even to encourage shy students to ask questions they might be afraid to ask in front of classmates. Social media also is a good way for teacher to know better about students’ characteristics and help pupils to develop their special abilities. Moreover, Students today live is a virtual world as the technology spread widely today. They use smart phone, and texting, emails, Facebook, and Twitter are their ways of communication.

  2. Le Liu

    Teacher stands for profession and authority. Teachers need to be respected by students. It is necessary for students and teachers to be in a social distance. Too much personal life exposure does not add educational value but probably breakdown student’s expectations for teachers. Furthermore, some of the teachers could not deal with teacher and students relationship properly.

    Teacher and student friendship can improve learning out comes. Social media sites help students to extend the classroom for the students who miss class or forget assignments. It is a good way for teachers to communicate with students and even to encourage shy students to ask questions they might be afraid to ask in front of classmates. Social media also is a good way for teacher to know better about students’ characteristics and help pupils to develop their special abilities. By communicating and talking on the social media site, students and teacher could build trustiness and understanding. It reduces the misunderstandings and they can help each other to be better off. Teachers could be easier to get access to advices to improve their teaching. Moreover, Students today live is a virtual world as the technology spread widely today. They use smart phone, and texting, emails, Facebook, and Twitter are their ways of communication.

  3. Le Liu

    “With more and more companies jumping on the social media bandwagon, it only makes sense that searching social media for background information on potential job candidates will continue to grow.” Even though many argues that it is not fair to decide whether to hire by checking candidates’ social media, the fact is that there is increasing number of employers are trying to get a better understanding of the potential employees through their personal life and by checking their Facebook and Twitters. On one hand there is an ethical issues for the employer, on the other hand, job seekers need to be aware of privacy before their job hunting. It is understandable that everybody has blue days and we sometimes post things that bad for our “reputations”. People may have some opinion which seems negative or does not fit for a specific job position. It is better for job seekers to start managing their social media profile by avoid posting inappropriate content and oversharing in the first place. Managing the privacy setting is necessary as well. For example, set up a private and public friends list to organize our friends and set private files for the content that we do not want to share publicly.

  4. Megan H.

    There are so many benefits to students and teachers being able to communicate with each other via social networking sites. Not only does it make it easier for teachers to communicate with students about school related events or other school related information, but it also opens the door for students to feel more comfortable talking to teachers about matters that they may be embarrassed to in person. While I know some would say that it could make it easier for teachers and students to have inappropriate conversations and relationships, but it seems to me that those relationships and conversations would happen regardless if social media were there. Teachers like Mary Kay LeTourneau who had an inappropriate relationship with one of her students, happened long before a site like Facebook was even a though in the mind of Mark Zuckerberg. To close the door on a tool of communication like Facebook, because of what it could cause would be ridiculous, especially when it is an excellent resource to be used in conjunction with educating young people, or just giving them an outlet that is not face to face, where they may be able to reach out to someone for help. With campaigns like “It Gets Better” making the rounds on the internet to deter bullying, removing facebook communication from students and teachers would be one less resource for kids to be able to reach out.

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