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The Case for 'Friending' Educators on Social Media

The Case for 'Friending' Educators on Social Media

Social media often gets a bad rap in both in and outside the classroom. When used incorrectly in the classroom, it can be at best ineffective and at worst distracting. When used incorrectly outside of the classroom, it can get educators into trouble for skirting the line of inappropriate contact with students.

But when used correctly, social media in the classroom has the potential to be a profound way to communicate and engage students. Take, for instance, the teachers who are brilliantly using Snapchat to send study tips to students on weekends before big exams.

New research also indicates that social media interaction with educators who double as mentors might be beneficial for students’ future success, too.

"Researchers from Drexel's College of Computing & Informatics and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Graduate School of Library and Information Science, who study interaction on social media, recently published a study suggesting that it might be worth it for schools to take a closer look at their social media policies and allow for positive interactions between teachers, administrators and their students,” says

The researchers took a look at two public school high schools where one school strictly limits social media interaction while the other publicly embraces it.

In the school where social media is embraced, the researchers found that students used social media to ask educators about assignments while building a sense of community as well as learning to self-monitor posts for adult viewing.

"Learning this sort of self-censoring behavior at a young age could, the study suggests, be just as important as creating better privacy management tools,” the article said.

Certainly more research needs to be done to explore these findings, but these researchers are hoping their work will inspire schools to reconsider harsh social media policies that drastically limit potentially beneficial activity.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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