Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Face the Facebook: Implications and Consequences for Educators Using Social Media by Colin Webb

These are my notes from Colin Webb’s (Noble Public Schools) presentation, “Face the Facebook: Implications and Consequences for Educators Using Social Media” at the February 8, 2012 Oklahoma Technology Association / Encyclo-Media Conference. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. I WANT TO EMPHASIZE (FOR THIS SESSION PARTICULARLY, BUT FOR OTHER SESSIONS I BLOG AT CONFERENCES) THAT MY NOTES REFLECT WHAT I UNDERSTOOD THE SPEAKER TO SAY. BY BLOGGING THESE NOTES I AM NOT SAYING OR IMPLYING THAT I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THE PRESENTER HAS SAID. The official session description was:

This session explores the uses of social media by schools and school employees. The session will address the need for digital citizenship as well as the professional uses of social media and the unintended consequences for its use.

this and filtering are two of the most discussed topics in our schools today
– how many of you have a district that have Facebook open for staff? for students?

the purpose of this isn’t to make pronouncements about everyone and every school
– it’s to share what I found as I researched what was best for my district
– what you’ll see today may make you uncomfortable

Social media: a means of communication/social interaction featuring user-generated content (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Webshots, LinkedIn, etc)

Facts and stats:
– MySpace 19.7 M per day
– Twitter – 200 M users, 110 M tweets per day
– Flickr 5 billion images
– LinkedIn: 50 M users


Social Media facts and stats on Facebook:
– 350 M users in 2010, 640 M in 2011
– half login daily
– 65 M people login on mobile devices
– 700 M business accounts
– Users 55-64 increase 88% in 2010
– most users are 18-35
– 30 Billion pieces of content uploaded monthly
– Average person spent 20 min per day on Facebook in 2010, 1.5 M posts, 2.7 M pics uploaded
– 1 in 5 couples met online, 1 in 5 divorces are blamed at least in part on Facebook
– more than 70% of Internet users today are on Facebook
– would be the 3rd largest country in the world

Constructive Uses of social media
– communication
– friendship
– relationship building
– pictures, grandkids

Destructive Uses
– identity theft (friend in Edmond shared too much)
– invasion of privacy
– bullying
– professional liability
– professional consequence

I want to share info for you to consider and prepare

We tend to oversimplify that of which we don’t understand
– we want and need teachers, parents, kids and others to be protected

Social Media in the News
– article from Cohasset, Massachusetts, April 2010: “Teacher Loses Job After Commenting About Students, Parents on Facebook
– I’m not saying the district was right to fire this teacher for this FB wall post, but it IS reality

Jerry Buell, Florida High School Teacher, Suspended For Anti-Gay Facebook Posts” (Aug 2011)
– teacher was reinstated

Court rules against Ashley Payne in Facebook case. But more to come.”
– this case still in court: teacher posted picture of herself of vacation in Europe at the Guiness Brewery, and district officials fired her

There can be unintended consequences to sharing Facebook images as a teacher…

Fox News Oct 2010: “Teachers Fired For Flirting on Facebook With Students

Missouri passed law that teachers couldn’t friend students (“Missouri Law: Teachers and Students Can’t Be Facebook Friends“)
– this law was overturned on appeal

Case law is all over the place on these issues

if you are a friend with a student on Facebook and they post things about problems, you can be held liable for that
– if victim can prove “school environment had been altered for them, staff should have been aware, more…)


Cyberbullying Research Center:
– Sameer Hunduja and Justin Patchin (2010)
– over 50% of kids are using Facebook

Cyberbullying Victimization statistics, cyberbullying by gender (girls are more likely to be victims than boys)

“Another ingredient in the stew we are cooking”
– depression and sexual activity: sexual active boys are much more likely to be depressed than girls
– stats for attempted suicide

What does this mean: Take sexually active, depressed kids….

Cyberbullying victims are twice as likely to attempt suicide compared to youth who had not experienced cyberbullying
– there is a lot of hurting going on out there that many adults are naive about

The cost
– Phoebe Prince, killed herself
– Jessica Logan forwarded a nude photo of herself to her boyfriend, she went on a crusade to try and stop others from repeating (hung herself at school)
– Ryan Halligan story (2003) become friends with a bully and spread photos around school that he was gay, he committed suicide

Of almost all the research I did on these issues, almost every case had a sexual aspect to it

Phoebe Prince’s lawsuite was settled for $225,000
– in Cincinnati the board and many others were

These parents and grandparents have holes in their heart which won’t heal
– lives changed forever
– photo of six kids charged with felonies from the yearbook, and then in court

“One wonders if these kids were taught anything about digital citizenship and how to be good people”

I want to play some video clips to lighten the mood now
– example of car fire video and story

Now story of “Social Media and Forever Consequences”
– showing photos of inappropriate photos posted on Facebook

Colin Webb (Noble Public Schools) showing inappropriate Facebook photos at Oklahoma Technology Association Conference Feb 8, 2012


You want to see why I don’t release YouTube in my district, this is why:
– I searched on YouTube for “girlfriend dancing” and it’s the 2nd clip
– this is why I don’t let anyone (teachers or students) access YouTube in my school district

[Colin showed strip tease video from YouTube]

I know where you live and now I know if you’re home…. (geo-tagged photos)
– people can go rob your house when they see you’re not there

Now showing examples of business liability
– if you see people write “Ford lied” you could make a name for yourself suing that person for Ford

Digital citizenship is a must’
– we need to teach it and practice it ourselves
– this is the tip of the iceberg, I’ve looked at thousands of Facebook pages, I’m so tired of looking at Facebook pages

We need to teach this in such a way that we don’t give kids access to Facebook at school
– it’s not about where to point and click, it’s about decorum and teaching kids about right and wrong

poor decision making and naiveté are the biggest problems we have with kids when it comes to social media
– don’t take or let others take embarrassing photos
– don’t argue online

I didn’t coin “Social media access at school is like sponsoring a dance but not chaperoning”
– if you say it’s about supervising: try supervising kids who have access to labs everywhere… I don’t have the staff for that
– I can’t afford to pay someone to watch where kids go online and what they do all day long

We need to teach kids about images
(showed disrespectful photo about the U.S. President)

We need to teach kids to be careful about what they put online
– this is your digital footprint

1:1 and BYOD advice:
– control Internet access (we already have enough problems with kids being on Facebook on lab computers, in my wife’s school the superintendent had to issue an edict to tell teachers not to post to Facebook during school hours, because patrons)
– violations of acceptable use policy (district can be held liable, if you have Facebook open for kids you have huge liability)
– social media is not designed for instruction

We have a digital locker system at our school, our kids can get to their work from any computer on or off campus

Policy is what drives the bus
– do not ‘friend’ current students until they have graduated except family and church members
– consider unfriending students you’ve friended
– don’t establish academic Facebook pages
– established academic Facebook pages: set all security settings at maximum, provide login credentials to building administration

Some issues parents are upset about could be addressed when administrators can login and see what is happening
– if a parent chooses to come against you for an alleged offense

Do not associate your Academic Pages with the district
– don’t use your work email account to setup a Facebook page

Don’t lure the lines between teacher and student
Be cautious
Don’t post during work hours
Develop digital citizenship initiatives for students

“The intent of this is not to put the thumb on anyone”
– my superintendent asked me to do this, since sharing this presentation all teachers have stopped asking for access to Facebook

I told my staff I’m doing this to protect you, and encourage you to separate personal and professional pursuits

Be careful and watch out for the kids
– we want to protect you

Make decisions based on information from multiple perspectives

“I cannot have something on my network which I cannot control, because I have responsibility for this network”
– be careful using these free things in the cloud, don’t rely upon them as you main conduit for information and communication

Story about a nearby district: Parent called about their child who has created an adult personna online and must have done it at school… tech director produced a report of that child’s Internet activity for the past month and could prove she hadn’t created those pages at school
– “if that district had Facebook open, they wouldn’t be able to control that”

Email: cwebb [at] nobleps [dot] com

Comment from Jeff Herbel, Enid Public Schools
– Enid encourages teachers to use academic Facebook pages and set them up with their district email
– Enid uses a lot of curriculum materials from Common Sense Media for digital citizenship lessons

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2 responses to “Face the Facebook: Implications and Consequences for Educators Using Social Media by Colin Webb”

  1. 4walttalk Avatar

    Dr. Fryar,
    Thank-you for posting the notes from this session at the OTA conference today.  I did not attend this session because I predicted it would be a rant on all of the evils of Facebook.  Social Media used appropriately can be an amazing tool and it is unfortunate that professional adult are not modeling appropriate digital citizenship. 
    I appreciate your COMMENTS.
    Janna Walters,
    CNP Schools