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"Social" Site Separation in Some States or is Web 2.0 a no Go?

While working with teachers in MA, I read a local news story that describes the termination procedures that may face teachers in the state if they use Facebook and "Friend" their students. While I understand some of the implications that "Friending" a student might imply, I also understand that the web site is used for academic purposes in many schools.

There will certainly be a number of legal and union negotiations to follow, but thought this might be a topic that warranted discussion in this professional development community. Your thoughts?

(Hope to meet many of you at the NMSA Conf in Baltimore)


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Tags: 2.0, Facebook, Sites, Social, friends, web


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Comment by Richard Varner on November 8, 2010 at 1:36pm
Agreed, Vivian. Thank you for yor comments.
I know a number of people within the NASA community that have a professional and personal identity on FB for this reason. These days there is almost as much NASA Content on Facebook and the other social media as can be found on the nasa.gov portal.

Related to this discussion, there are "many" teachers who Tweet their professional questions to their colleagues around the country. This was touted at the recent ISTE conference as a professional use for this media that brought almost immediate results. Since most of these teachers don't use professional names, the question related to the FB issue arises...how would you know if your "friends" or "followers" in this social medium are not your students or their colleagues?

I mentioned in the original posting, I think the use of 2.0 social media can be very valuable in educational applications, but the situation in MA has implications to a broader arena than just Facebook. I am hoping that discussions in this community might open dialogue regarding cautions or considerations for other applications.
Comment by Vivian Barker on November 5, 2010 at 11:59pm
Even though I am new to facebook and all this instant messages--I believe as a profession the last person I want to see my personal comments (when I do post) are my students. There are other avenues to facilitate communication with students in a proper manner but I don't believe facebook is the correct avenue. How are the students protected and in what manner would facebook be used for academic purposes?

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