Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Facebook and Educators...Be Careful!

I saw in the paper this morning; "Teacher may lose job after derogatory comments about her students on Facebook" and I thought not again. It seems as if teachers are always getting in trouble over Facebook.  I know that's not the case, but sometimes it just seems that way.  

How ironic the story came out on the day I was scheduled to talk with teachers about Facebook.  I thought with the story in the paper I might get more teachers to show up for the session, but that wasn't the case.  Still less than 10% of the teaching staff showed up, but that is a different blog post.  (All of theses sessions are voluntary.)

The plan for today's session was to have a conversation bout some of  the risk associated with being on Facebook as well as how to check and adjust their privacy settings.   The conversation was good; we discussed  the expectations the public seems to have about teachers' private lives and the pros and cons of friending students.  But mostly we talked about how to check privacy settings.

I was concerned. It seemed as if some teachers were becoming scared of Facebook and were talking about de-activating their sites; of course this is not what I intended.  I tried to help the teachers see the good points and that they should not be afraid to participate in social networking sites.  Educators just need to use common sense, and always remember...even if your site is private, always act as if it is public.

Resources I shared with the teachers.

8 Steps to Regain Control of your Facebook Privacy, and 8 MORE Steps to Regain Control of your Facebook Privacy  from makeuseof.com

A Teacher's Guide to Using Facebook by Bernadetta Rego, B. Com, B. Ed.

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know  from allfacebook.com

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