There is resistance to Social Networking sites because it is different and to some it is unknown. An example of this is my mothers opinion of social networking sites. She calls Twitter “Tweeter” and tells us to be careful not to let our identities get stolen. It’s just something she doesn’t necessarily understand. However, I do believe that my mom is right that internet safety and protecting our identities is another reason for resistance. In my opinion social media is all about making wise educated decisions about who and what information you share.
One of the greatest benefits of using social media for communication is its ability to reach parents, community members, and other educators. Building a professional learning community can help inform about current educational trends and events, encourage continual learning and growth, and empower educators. Social media can also bring some of the fun and excitement back into education because it is entertaining.
As I discussed above it is important to know your audience and know how much is appropriate to share. If you give to much information about yourself, your family, work, students, etc. you can put yourself or others in harms way. However, when you use social media responsibly you will usually be alright.
2. (Social Networking Best Practices for Educators) This article talks about two court cases, Snyder v. Millersville University and Spanierman v. Hughes in which two teachers were disciplined for interactions they had with students on MySpace. Do you feel the courts came to the correct conclusions? Is it ever appropriate to interact with students (present and past) on Social Media sites such as MySpace and Facebook?
I do believe that often as educators we are held to a higher standard. We are expected to hold a certain level of decorum and responsibility due to our active roles in the community and interaction with impressionable students that are looking for role models. I think the actions of the teachers discussed in the article were irresponsible. I do not think there is any reason for a teacher to be interacting withs students on PERSONAL social networking sites. However, if they have a page that is strictly for their class instruction and is used appropriately with adhering to age restrictions, etc. then the interaction can be useful and enhance instruction. These types of social networking sites can be used for class announcements, to build a classroom community of learning, content discussion, etc. I personally would not participate in the type of social networking but mostly because I teach lower elementary school and the age restrictions make it completely inappropriate. I feel it’s risky business and something I avoid.