Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not Everyone is Jumping on the Banned Wagon

There's been quite a bit of reaction in opposition to the Chancellor's proposed social media policy that could ban teacher / student interaction using social media spaces like Facebook and Twitter.  Soon after the announcement, The Wall Street Journal picked up the story here: NYC Schools Considering Social Media Policy

More and more, citizens are coming out against those who are trying to stifle educator and student freedom of speech. The comments from parents, students, educators, and librarians in response to my reaction  (School big rips teacher Facebook ‘ban’) are well worth the read and your own comment.
In reaction to the article I was sent a comic that the article inspired as well as an article and guide:

Student Safety in the Age of Facebook 
THE Journal. My thoughts on this article are here.

Facebook Guide for Educators
I like the idea behind this guide. Education, not banning, is the answer to addressing use of technology by teachers and students. Unfortunately, policymakers often haven't taken the time to acquire the knowledge necessary to make smart decisions and just ban and block because that is a more simple solution. This guide provides helpful information that those that make policy should be aware of including the fact that hosting a group or page does not require teachers to friend all the students, privacy settings that help keep those under 18 safe, reasons that having educators in the online worlds of young people helps reduce cyberbullying, and a bunch of great ideas to harness the use of Facebook for real-world learning. 

Speaking out for what is right
Not only must educators not be afraid to exist in the worlds of their students, they also must empower their students to know how to use the very tools they'll need if they want to run for office, run a business, or change how things are run in their schools. Kudos to those parents, teachers, and students brave enough to speak on behalf of what is right for our children.


  1. Last paragraph should be our mantra. Excellent!

  2. The problem witth educators using social media is the same as many other things in this world. A few bad apples have spoiled the bunch. Social media outlets are a fantastic way to connect and teach our students the 21st century skills they need. We have to stop punishing the masses for the sins of the few.

  3. Excerpt from a comment that grew very long. You can find the entire post, "Not Letting Teachers “Friend” & “Follow” Kids Online? Think Twice!", at at
    "...What are we doing to prepare students to function in this landscape? It is imperative for them to understand that their digital profile matters - that it is, to a large extent, permanent, and that there are adults who can teach them how to use social media for productivity and learning. They need guides and mentors, and like everywhere else, they need supervision. We would never leave a cafeteria full of adolescents unsupervised. That doesn't mean that we monitor every conversation that occurs in that cafeteria. We just make sure that there are adults around. This helps youngsters keep their behavior in check. The same principle applies in virtual space. They need to know we are there..."