Van Halen’s campy song “Hot for Teacher” seems like every young teen’s fantasy dream. A hot teacher, an easy A…and thanks to social media making it easier to foster those relationships that are taboo, many school districts are left embarrassed, scrambling to recover from a scandalous and damaging inappropriate relationship between a teacher and his or her student. Districts are also being forced to quickly write policy and spend extra time and money on monitoring internet usage. While this is not a new issue, the advent of social media makes this troublesome for our society in many ways. Social media also makes teachers feel they have the right to vent about their students, their principal, their job – all accounts of professionalism fly out the window from one drunken tweet, Facebook post, or Snapchat story. Social media can blur many lines in education and social responsibilities. The use of social media can be incredibly helpful in a classroom, but knowing when not to cross that line is proving difficult for those who cannot maintain professionalism, or it is making it easier for those in education who have nefarious intentions with their students.
A new law in Missouri is taking effect in order to prevent teachers from having private conversations between teachers and students on social media apps like Facebook. Many teachers are not happy about this law limiting their communications with their students, especially because social media assists teachers in classrooms. The ACLU states that this is
Social media deserves its place in the classroom. It is the newest way to capture the attention of students and hopefully get those assignments turned in. While teachers can share their work, they can also overshare, causing a blurred line between when the teacher/student relationship.
Social media can be an effective tool in the classroom, plus teachers have an opportunity for teachers to foster positive career choices for students through the use of the internet.
Quick friendships with parents on social media can lead to more risks than rewards for teachers. Boundaries are crossed and one word can change the role a parent plays for a teacher in assisting with their child's education and vice versa.
A principal is using social media as a way to monitor what happens to her students following the death of one of her students who was murdered by men she met on the internet.
How responsible are schools for students who post after school? Especially if the post fall out continues to the school campus the next morning? Teens use social media flagrantly, so what can schools do about it to protect their students and themselves from possible legal action?
Being responsible on all social media is important for teachers. Tips and tidbits are provided to remind teachers how to carry out your social media activity in work and personal life.
Think before you tweet or twerk. Teachers who post to social media must remember they are in the public eye, serving as a public official. Everything you do can and will be used against you.
There are many opportunities, as well as challenges for those who use social media in the classroom, whether in elementary or in higher education. Statistics and scientific studies show the effectiveness of social media in the classroom.
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