Showing posts with label MySpace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MySpace. Show all posts

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why Can't We Be (Facebook) Friends?

Last week Michael Kaechele wrote a blog post about students following their teachers on Twitter. The post generated a lot of comments on all sides of the question. This is especially true for the things we post on Twitter. If your updates are not protected, anyone can see the things that you post on Twitter. In fact, due to real-time search engines, you don't even have to have a Twitter account to see someone's updates. There are two ways to deal with this, protect your updates or accept that everything you post on Twitter is public. Some people might suggest that you could block people from following you, but again, that doesn't prevent someone from seeing your updates in a search engine.

Students friending their teachers on Facebook is a different scenario than students following their teachers on Twitter. On Facebook, your updates are protected from those who you don't approve. Likewise, accepting a student's friend request on Facebook is much different than having a student follow you on Twitter. The act of accepting a student's friend request is an active choice whereas not blocking a student from following you on Twitter is a passive choice. The question then is, should a teacher accept a student's Facebook friend request?

There are a number of variables to consider before deciding if you should or shouldn't accept a student's friend request. The answer is not the same for every teacher. Thanks in part to Dateline, as a moderately young (31) male teacher if I accept a female student's friend request, the perception is very different than the perception of an older female teacher accepting that same student's friend request. For me the answer is clear, I do not accept any friend request from students (male or female) nor do I accept friend requests from recently graduated students. I explain this to my students and their parents at the beginning of each school year and they all understand.

On the other hand, a great example of the good that can come from a student friending a teacher on Facebook or Myspace can be found in the example of Beth Still and her student Mundo. The short version of that story is via Myspace Beth was able to reconnect with Mundo who had dropped out of school.Through this connection Beth was able to get Mundo back into school to finish his coursework for graduation. In Beth's case having students in her social network services was a great thing.

I'm curious, are there schools that have formal policies about this? What is your personal policy about accepting Facebook friend requests from students?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Judge Approves Suspending Creators of Fake MySpace Profiles

This blog post is a little off topic, but very relevant to all teachers and school administrators. A federal court judge recently ruled that students can be suspended from school for creating fake MySpace profiles of administrators and teachers. The judge was ruling in the case of a Pennsylvania middle school that suspended two students for creating a profile of their principal that contained "lewd and vulgar" language. To read more about the particulars of the case you can read this article from Ars Technica and this article from Techdirt.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Facebook: Does It Have a Place in Education?

In this newest podcast episode I share a tip I learned a while back for determining the level of Internet access your students really have outside of school. I also share an idea I've about using Facebook or Myspace in education. Does Facebook or Myspace have a place in education? Listen to this short podcast and share your thoughts in the comments.

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player embedded below or use the widget embedded in the right column of the blog.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Web 2.0 in the Workplace

If you have ever struggled to explain to students, parents, colleagues, or bosses how web 2.0 can become an important part of professional development, take a look at this short slide show from Sacha Chua. Sacha Chua blogs about all types of web 2.0 related topics including how new technology influences and fits into the workplace. (Thanks to Skip Z for the tip via Twitter).

Applications for Education
The lesson that high school students should take away from this slide show is that everyone is watching what you do in web 2.0. As students prepare for job interviews or college admissions interviews, reminding them to consider carefully what they've posted on Facebook, Myspace, or elsewhere and decide if they should leave that information for all of the world to see.

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