Kids and Social Media

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This past week I was asked to advise on guidelines for teacher-student interactions in social media settings such as Facebook.  Essentially, we’re recommending caution.  The new guidelines will be posted in faculty handbooks, and read as follows:

Faculty/Staff members should maintain professionalism in their relationship with students at all times. Activities/behaviors in which faculty/staff members should not participate with students include, but are limited to the following:

1) Posting student pictures on web-based social network sites (Facebook, MySpace etc)

2) Exchange cell phone numbers with students

3) Participate in inappropriate text messaging with students

4) Participate in inappropriate e-mail correspondence with students

The key word here is “inappropriate.”  Unfortunately, no definition is given as to what might be considered inappropriate.  There are the obvious reasons – the unfortunate ones that make headlines.  However, is ANY contact via e-mail or text messaging between teachers and students appropriate?  Our paranoid society would cast suspicion on any of these activities. Continue reading “Kids and Social Media”