Social Networking in Schools

This past school year I was approached by my union officials concerning my use of Facebook. For the past four years I have added current and past students to my account as “friends”. I am not ashamed of anything i have posted on my facebook profile and do not feel that the material I post is negative towards the education process. I also have used Facebook to correspond with students, students parents, and alum to organize events and such. So when my union officers told me that it was becoming union policy for all members to delete their accounts and unfriend all students at the school, I was saddened and alarmed. What is our fear of using this tool as an education source. Some sites offer the same opinion as I, including this wiki source (Wiki) Our students are more familiar with socializing and communicating with this format than any other form. I found a great article on Edutopia this week that has some informative statistics concerning our students and their use of Social Networking sites such as Facebook. (Article) Should we not embrace new technological trends and then help set examples of use for our students? If anyone has insight on this topic, I would love to hear it!


About moriquendi23

I am a high school history teacher in west-central PA. I am also the producer/director of the schools drama plays and musicals, the scholastic quiz team coach, and assistant marching band director. Needless to say...I'm a pretty busy guy.
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3 Responses to Social Networking in Schools

  1. jksuter says:

    I totally agree with you. Last year I created a classroom Facebook page, posted an explanation and some rules about it on my website, and invited my current students and parents to join. I use Twitter to post class updates that appear on my Moodle course, website, and class Facebook page. Before I launched everything I took it to the administrators in both the middle school and high school (I was working in both) and informed them about what I was doing. I try and keep the whole thing very visible to avoid any problems. I do not accept current students on my personal Facebook page but do accept former students. There seems to be an unwritten rule about this with the majority of the teachers in the high school that use Facebook. Hopefully by keeping everything with the class Facebook page out in the open I won’t run into any problems. I have also sent numerous news articles about principals that are using Facebook to communicate and update parents to my principal. I believe he is ready to try it out and he wants me to meet with him to show him what I have been doing in the classroom. Small victories!

    • moriquendi23 says:

      I am glad to hear that others understand the use of these tools in the classroom. I have played around with the idea of creating a whole new account just for the classroom, and am hoping the administration will allow that if I give them full access.

  2. cupprof says:

    How sad to read that the administration/union doesn’t understand the technology. It’s typical for folks to have a knee-jerk reaction to new technologies, especially ones that increase the ease of communication. Unfortunately, we have to time and time-again justify what we do…. but we do have to be careful.

    Excellent post!

    ~ John

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