Social Media

15 Sep

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Just Google “teachers, Facebook, inappropriate” and a flood of articles appear relating the indiscretions and sins of teachers who have overstepped the bounds of propriety by posting inappropriate statements, pictures, and videos on Facebook and other social media accounts. At Staff Meetings this term we have run a number of sessions on this particular subject. I can highly recommend the website below. This has been the main source of many of our resources. http://www.teachersandsocialmedia.co.nz/

Last year, three teachers in the United States were fired for having inappropriate relationships with students on Facebook. In November 2008, five teachers got into hot water for posting inappropriately on Facebook. The phenomenon is not limited to just Facebook. In May of 2009, a teacher in Scotland used Twitter to post inappropriate Tweets. She criticized the school’s management and tweeted about personally identifiable information about individual students in her classes.

When you read these news stories your immediate reaction is to question the sanity and intelligence of people who do these kinds of things, yet, what schools are struggling with is a very unique 21st century problem: the power of social media to connect people in ways that once was not possible, and the ability of individuals to share information in and about their lives on a scale not possible before.

Added to the concern about teachers using social networking inappropriately, is the concern about loss of productivity. A study found that nearly half of office employees access Facebook at work, and those companies lose on average 1.5 percent of total office productivity when employees have access during the workday. According to a study performed by the British employment law firm Peninsula “about $ 264 million is lost per day by British corporations due to office workers dillydallying on Facebook.” This same study also said 233 million hours are lost every month as a result of employees “wasting time” on social networking. By the way just in case you’re thinking I complete my blog at 7am every Thursday here NZ.

With all the negativity though let’s remember these are tool and when used properly they are awesome. Teachers, being lifelong learners need to just be educated to be digital citizens like our students.

 

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