Ben Wildeboer has written a thorough post (“Social networking sites pose “dangers” for educators”) about The Ohio Education Association (OEA) sending out:
a memo this fall strongly advising teachers to completely and totally avoid social networking sites.
I think I understand why OEA feels this is the right course for educators, but I completely disagree. Ben has it right: Educators shouldn’t be engaging in inappropriate interactions with students online or F2F (no kidding) and telling educators to stay off social networking sites is literally asking them to firmly plant their heads in the sand and pretend the Internet and the issues it raises will go away. This isn’t a constructive response. Having teachers stay off social networking sites isn’t going to stop teacher spoof sites either, like I have discussed previously in my presentations about safe digital social networking.
Ben shares a good summary at the end of his post:
It’s time for school officials to realize that social networking sites and other online collaboration tools (wikis, blogs, etc.) aren’t a fad that will soon fade away. Schools often seem so afraid of change; whenever something new comes along it’s banned or blocked before its merits can be determined. Wouldn’t be wonderful if schools were led by digitally literate teachers, principals, and officials who strove to introduce technology to students instead of the other way around?
For more of my thoughts on this, refer to:
- Blocking social networking sites is an insufficient response (2 June 2006)
- Irrational fear of blogging (6 Sept 2006)
- Yes, but I how do I CONTROL it? (19 Sept 2006)
- Podcast200: Moving Beyond the Fear Factor With Internet Safety (10 Oct 2007)
- Podcast180: Conversations about Digital Social Networking and Internet Safety (17 Aug 2007)
- Sorry teachers, but the read/write web is not shutting down (1 Aug 2007)
- F2F conversations and dialog as the answer (18 Apr 2006)
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- HeyTell: Use Your iPhone or Android Phone like a Walkie Talkie #edapps - 2011
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- Protected and inactive organizational Twitter accounts, Digital Footprint Maintenance - 2010
- Link for Frontier PS Teachers - 2010
- Professional Schools and Self-Directed Learning - 2009
- Manage Twitter contacts with Twitter Karma - 2008
- Read to me, Sam! - 2007