I recently read a blog post praising Pinellas school board, in Florida, for banning teachers from communicating with students via Facebook and Twitter. I myself do not agree with this ruling.
I know teachers that hold test review sessions on Twitter. This gives students a chance to talk about the upcoming test with the teacher as well as other students. They can ask questions, review vocabulary, and prepare for a test. This happens with students being anywhere and the teacher being at home.
I know teachers that shout out the day’s events at school and share pictures on Facebook. Students and parents can comment and tell how much they enjoyed the event or being able to see what goes on at school when the child comes home and says, “nothing happened at school today”.
Students are starting to think that you can say whatever you want online and no one with see it. I know teachers that are friends with students and they go straight to them saying, “Did you see what so and so said about that teacher?” The teacher can then report that to administration and get the situation taken care of.
I feel that the Pinellas school board does not know what they just did. They did point out that teachers do inappropriate things online, but by banning all teachers from resources is cutting off what some teachers are starting to do. If you are having issues with a teacher doing inappropriate things, ban them.
Grouping all teachers together is like grouping all students together. There are teachers doing GREAT things with mobile/social media today. Banning teachers will be stopping them from reaching students in how they live. Banning teachers is telling students that teachers are blind to what students are doing online.
Teachers need to be where the students are to help mold them and lead them to how they act online. This article disturbs in and is telling me that the advances that I have made in my education and teaching is worthless. I want to help students and reach them in where they live. They live on Facebook and Twitter, so I want to join them there and show that they can learn there as well.