According to the article Teachers asked to 'unfriend' students on Facebook
"Everyone knows that there are teachers nationwide that may have inappropriately communicated with students through email, text message or Facebook —and even some cases, those teacher-student relationships have been taken to an even further level of inappropriate behavior," Donzelli said. "We are advising teachers to make good decisions online so they don’t get themselves into trouble later."It seems to me that Facebook just made the inappropriate actions public, those teachers doing inappropriate things aren't going to stop doing those things just because they aren't on Facebook. This is going after the symptom and not the root cause.
( Joseph Donzelli, referred to in the article, is the director of communications and printing services at Lee County Public Schools. Is that an academic position?)
Far be it for the school district to train teachers on the use of this media, on its benefits and advantages as well as possible dangers. Instead, they are asking teachers not to use it with students. Stay way...danger. Thank goodness, the cavemen did not adopt the same philosophy with fire or we'd still all be really cold.
Teachers are being asked not to use Facebook, even though more than 500 million active users are on the site and 50% of the active users log on to Facebook in any given day and the average user has has 130 friends and people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. Facebook Statistics
"Educators just need to unfriend students immediately to prevent incidents like this from occurring," Donzelli warned. "There’s no reason why an employee should be friends with a current student, especially when there are other ways to communicate with them through school-based websites or e-mail."Right, let's take a giant step backwards and use 1980's technology to communicate with students of the 21st century...really?
As social networks continue to grow, many teachers are utilizing these sites to get news out to students and organize activities. Although the Lee County school district recognizes this growing trend, it’s asking teachers to refrain or notify supervisors when they use social media sites for education-related reasons.
"There are other ways to reach out to students that doesn’t involve social networking," Donzelli said. "Teachers should work with their school’s Webmaster to set up Web pages where people can interact and discuss projects and events."
So, as school starts today for my two sons, I look at academic institutions and still think, we have such a long way to go until the technology of the youth is integrated into their instructional curriculum. I was reminded this weekend by a brother-in-law that the academic calendar with three months off was created for an agrarian culture of the 1800th century and not for our information rich culture existing today. Advising teachers not to use Facebook to communicate at all with students is a reinforcement of that 1800th century paradigm.
__ Catalog of Recommended Books, Games and Gadgets Recommended Games and Gadgets Recommended Books Content Guide