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Old 18.08.2011, 22:14
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Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

I saw this article today about some of the legal issues that could arise with the expansion of social media.

Webroot Digital Debate

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For instance, a teacher may discover that his or her student "friend" on Facebook is engaged in an illegal activity, like underage drinking. Many questions follow: Is the teacher obligated to report the activity? Can an angry parent sue because the teacher didnít report the incident and intervene? Are the teacher and school liable if the incident occurred off campus? The answers, of course, fluctuate based on a number of variables affecting each case.
Whilst teachers may not sign up with their pupils as 'friends' on Facebook etc. connections can easily happen through 'friends of friends' etc.

If you are a teacher, or in a similar role, could one of your students be a forum member?
Do you have policies to cover the possible situations that could arise?
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Old 18.08.2011, 22:16
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

I think it is unproffesional really, a friend of mine who is a teacher has all these students as friends, makes me wonder why...Unless of course they are not your students anymore. Just my 2 cents
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Old 19.08.2011, 12:20
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

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I think it is unproffesional really, a friend of mine who is a teacher has all these students as friends, makes me wonder why...Unless of course they are not your students anymore. Just my 2 cents
I used to work with many adult learners. Although our project had its own Facebook group, I did not add any of the students as my own friends. Some of the tutors did, even though their contracts stated that they should not have social contact outside the classes. I am not aware that any problems occured as a result of this but, I agree, it is unprofessional.

We had anonymous contact as Administrators of the group.
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Old 19.08.2011, 12:23
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

Well, I have a former teacher as a Facebook friend, and my daughters have one or two as well, I think that's OK, but can see the problem with current teachers.

Tom
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Old 19.08.2011, 12:24
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

Yes they can. Whether they should...

It is the same principle (principal!) of whether you should include your colleagues & bosses on FB. Risky business. I keep Linked-In for this, and my FB page - rarely used mind - for purely social friends.
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Old 19.08.2011, 12:33
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

I heard (not sure if it's true, or just an unspoken rule) that highschool teachers in Canada are not allowed to be seen in a bar where students are at the same time. I remember walking into a sports bar, seeing a teacher there, and then them immediately leaving.
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Old 19.08.2011, 12:50
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

Personally, I don't see a problem. People shouldn't post things in Facebook they don't want the public to see. Anyone who thinks Facebook is a private means of communication is naive.
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Old 19.08.2011, 12:53
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

As I taught at the same school 1 of my daughters attended (yes, poor thing I had to be her German teacher) - many of my old students often get in touch as they find me on her list. I love getting messages about their successes, babies, weddings- etc. Some of my 6th Formers from my last school also often send messages - and that's great. Especially when they thank me for teaching them French or German which they later found so useful when sent abroad for jobs, etc. Recently I had a message from one of the really difficult students I had. He is now married to a German and lives in Hollywood in a huge mansion- designs and manufactures props for the sci-fi film industry. Great.

Totally agree that it is not appropriate for current teachers and students.
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Old 19.08.2011, 12:54
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

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I think it is unproffesional really, a friend of mine who is a teacher has all these students as friends, makes me wonder why...Unless of course they are not your students anymore. Just my 2 cents
Make that 4 cents - let's call it 5 rappen.

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I remember walking into a sports bar, seeing a teacher there, and then them immediately leaving.
You could have had some fun with that

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Personally, I don't see a problem. People shouldn't post things in Facebook they don't want the public to see. Anyone who thinks Facebook is a private means of communication is naive.
It's more a case of a teacher being put into an awkward situation by reading a pupil's posts, I think.
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Old 19.08.2011, 12:56
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

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personally, i don't see a problem. People shouldn't post things in facebook they don't want the public to see. Anyone who thinks facebook is a private means of communication is naive dumb as shit and deserves what they get.
ftfy. ....
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Old 19.08.2011, 12:58
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Re: Can teachers and pupils be 'friends' online

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Yes they can. Whether they should...
OK! You win the 'Pedant of the day' award
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