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Should Teachers and Students Be 'Friends' on Social Media?

Should Teachers and Students Be 'Friends' on Social Media?

Social media is taking over how people communicate, and almost everyone has a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account. There may however, be boundaries as to who one can be connected to, like teachers and their students. 

"Should teachers and students be Facebook friends?," askedToday Show Parents article. "Should they text, tweet, 'snap' or ‘gram' each other?"

The article begins by looking at two parents, Tara Paige and Stefani McNair, and their contrasting views about teachers, students, and social media.

“I’m OK with texting one-on-one,” Paige said. “I believe in writing because it serves as documentation. And social media is a way for teachers to be leaders and role models with their students. It takes a village.”

McNair, however, feels differently.

“I don’t think any circumstances warrant students and teachers communicating that way,” she said. “I think there’s great potential for the lines of respect and influence to get fuzzy.”

The article refers to the Pew Research Internet Project's national survey of teens and parents, which states that "95 percent of teens are online, and 81 percent use social networksing sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat."

Jennifer Beaver, a teacher at a South Carolina charter school, said social media is a great tool, and students should learn that personal and professional communication are distinct from one another.

In her opinion, communicating via the Internet should be “the same way students would treat their teachers differently than their friends in a face-to-face conversation...social media is where teenagers are,” she said. “This is a great tool that allows teachers to connect with students in a way that interests them.”

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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