In Massachusetts, a school district decided to create a policy against “friending” students in Facebook. There are no previous issues reported; however, the purpose is to avoid possible incidents like the ones reported in New York Public Schools a few weeks prior.
With this new policy, the Norton School District wants to ensure that teachers are able to separate their professional life from personal life as well as keep students safe and prevent exposing them to adult content that teachers may post on their Facebook profiles. They also want teachers to refrain from posting messages about alcohol or drugs and be professional when using their Facebook account.
There is a concern this policy this may violate the teachers’ freedom of speech and may be going too far by including former students in this policy.
Facebook can be a great resource for education if used correctly and this new policy may prevent another way for student engagement using social media and online tools, especially in this age where students are native digitals and respond well to technology-classroom implementation.
While creating new technology policies in schools is good practice, teachers and students may feel threatened to stop experimenting with social media in the classroom and may later put teachers at a disadvantage to keep their technology and social media skills current.
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