Four out of five K-12 educators said they use social media for personal or professional purposes, and of those educators, 34 percent said they have had difficulties with students and/or parents trying to connect with them through social media.

“On one hand, social media can be a valuable tool for learning and connecting with students and parents; on the other, it can invite inappropriate behavior and misuse,” said Kathy Cook, Director of Educational Technology for University of Phoenix College of Education.

Just 18 percent of teachers surveyed said they use social media in their own classrooms, and 55 percent said they do not and do not plan to. Twenty-seven percent said they do not currently use social media in their classrooms, but want to do so.

In fact, there is a growing movement for educators to have the means to connect with students through the technologies and resources students use in their daily personal lives, including social media.

“Students are engaged daily in social media, so it presents a great way to connect with them,” said Cook. “Social media can also help tie classroom learning to real-world scenarios, which can enhance student learning. Many teachers see the value of using these tools in the classroom, but may be reluctant to engage without clear guidelines and training.”

Only 29 percent of teachers said they received what they feel is significant or adequate training about how to interact with students and parents through social media.