Opinion: How social networking rules for teachers go too far

Teachers are expected to do a lot of things in the classroom — but what about outside, asks the Washington Post. Here’s a look at that issue, by Angie Miller, the 2011 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and a TED2012 speaker. She teaches middle school and is a freelance writer.

At school we went over our social networking guidelines. Besides the obvious — don’t be inappropriate with students through texting and Facebooking (which no teacher in their right mind would do) – we were further directed to “always think and write like an educator” (boring) and “never use a blog…to comment about your job duties” (like this?) and “never blog or write about extremely personal subjects” (is my homeless mother, whom I write about, extremely personal?)…

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Opinion: Teachers should use social networks to inform, not socialize

On the question of students, teachers, and social networking, CNN’s Schools of Thought blog posed this question on Jan. 20: Do you think there are more benefits or downsides to this kind of communication? As a public high school teacher, it’s a question I have pondered often, says Brad Boeker for Yahoo! News. How do schools make sure communication between students and teachers stays appropriate without placing outright bans on many useful, instant forms of communication? I think the answer lies in identifying the purpose of the communication and defining the word social in social networking. The easy approach would be for school boards to ban all communication outside of school between teachers and students. After all, isn’t the primary job of a school to look after the safety of its students? The problem with that knee-jerk solution is that it automatically cuts off many legitimate and creative uses of electronic communication. My former colleague, Joe Chianakas, now a professor at Illinois Central College, used a Twitter feed to deliver homework assignments and reminders about upcoming quizzes and tests. To me that is a terrific use of technology that helps engage students…

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