Saturday, April 10, 2010

Teachers, Students and Social Networking

Remember Mister Rogers' song, " Please won't you be my neighbor?"

Add a 21st century twist to the lyrics and it could ring, "Please won't you be my social networking friend?"

A clearly simple click of the mouse connects you and a potential MySpace, Twitter or Facebook "friend". What if that friend is a student from one of the classes you teach?

I personally believe students and teachers should keep a respectful distance outside of the classroom. It's scary to think how commonplace it is for elementary school children to have social networking accounts with free reign and little supervision. They innocently are adding all the friends they can and often compare notes at school. "I have xxx friends, how many do YOU have?" Competitively cruel!

The next time a student asks you to be his or her social networking "friend", think twice before clicking "accept". Maintain a  conservative policy that the only children under 18 you social network with are your children, relatives or close family friend.

Some may say mine is a paranoid attitude, but I call it professionalism.

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