Friday, July 18, 2008

Should Teachers Avoid Social Networking Sites?

From 2005-2007 I went to Indiana University as a full-time math graduate student. In the timeline of my life this was 3 years after graduating from the University of Evansville. Thus, I essentially missed out on the Facebook revolution that took over college campuses. However, the majority of my classmates at IU were fresh out of college and were all on Facebook. Accordingl they coerced me into setting me up with an account. During grad school I pretty well ignored it except to use it as a means to identify students that I tutored at IU.

Fast forward to the last two weeks. I figure if I am going to create these resources I might as well try to market them to as many people as possible. Through my research on how to internet market, I was told sites like MySpace and Facebook were usually reccomended as one option. Thus I dove into Facebook and have been an active user the last two weeks. I am very glad I did because I have reconnected with an old college roomate and a friend from Brazil who studied at UE for a semester. Her whole family was at UE that semester and they were some of my favorite people I met at Evansville.

The question I have is what is the appropriate behavior of a teacher on these sites? I am of the inclinationt that I would not accept "friend requests" from students that are currently at my school and would definitely be careful what is posted on my page. It is an interesting question and one that more and more new teachers and schools are going to have to deal with...Let me know what you think.


Gauss said...

I quit facebook in grad school, when I started to think of myself more as a teacher than as a student. It is certainly an interesting question, but I chose the easiest solution.

OrangeMath said...

I have a page on MySpace and Facebook. They are both plain and true (normal picture and real age).

The purpose is to allow some students to contact you. Maybe they graduated, maybe not, but you are there. I have about ten students as friends. I don't contact them. Once a year or so, they each contact me. It's good.

Teacher Lady said...

I faced the same dilemma as a teacher when I joined Facebook last year. I joined to reconnect with old friends but then I had students who try to add me as friends. I had a rule of no students as friends until they have graduated.
If you want to interact with students on Facebook consider creating a group where you are the administrator. You can still interact with them without being "friends" with them.

Temple Student said...

I am taking a class at Temple University and we are currently discussing this issue about Teachers being on facebook. I think that it is ok as long as the teacher is not corresponding with current students, and they have total control over who they accept at friends. It is a great way to keep in touch with former students who have graduated and are young adults know.