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Teachers tread with caution on Facebook


With technology evolving as fast as a teen’s thumbs can move over a cell phone, teachers are seeking to strike a balance on what’s considered appropriate contact in the online world, reports the Tennessean. Teacher Laura Joy Perales counts about 100 students among her friends on Facebook. An English instructor at the Nashville School of the Arts, she thinks hard before posting on the popular social-networking site and closely monitors comments from everyone else. "It’s beneficial," Perales said. "Students can access the day’s class if they miss it. They don’t have to fall behind. I’ll be able to post on Facebook: ‘You have a paper due tomorrow.’ … But you need to be very careful, and you should only be putting stuff online that you are comfortable with." Local school districts are adopting a mixture of written policies and verbal warnings to deal with teaching in the Information Age, when many of their students have their own online profiles and can find teachers’, too. And teachers themselves are adopting a broad stance, from refusing to "friend" students to establishing their own interactive web sites exclusively for student use. But some point to the potential dangers of mixing a personal site with student business…

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