This post is a revised version of a post I wrote in January of 2010.
Though there may be some positive outcomes from connecting with your students online, there are also hazards. Every teacher should consider the potential unintended consequences carefully, before becoming online “friends” with any student. I offer one warning and three suggestions asking you to keep in mind that this blog represents my own professional research, experience and opinion. Teachers should be aware of their district’s policies on employee and student Internet Use.
Facebook is an example of a popular website for social networking. Many high school students are regular users, and since 2009, many other Americans also discovered the site. The site provides a place to connect and share information and photos with relatives and friends. Though the age limit for Facebook use is 14 years, many students in the elementary grades have set up accounts for themselves. Parents should be aware of their child(ren)’s Internet use and have ongoing conversations with them about Internet Safety, privacy, kind and courteous online conversations (netiquette) and digital reputation creation and maintenance.
But this post is meant to address issues teachers face as they consider the use of Facebook or similar social networking sites with students. (more…)