When I was on spring break, several social media vs school opinion pieces came through my feed. (let me insert here how nice it was to have time to actually read items that came through on my feed instead of just scanning them).
The first one was on Dangerously Irrelevant. What do you think of this proposed social media policy for school employees? It got a whopping 51 comments, and it absolutely reminded me of the policy my county adopted. You can do this and this and this and you can’t do that and that and that.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know we have to be careful. I know we need to be prudent. BUT so much of what education is IS about building relationships. I personally know the power of using the internet to build relationships. Several people, who were complete strangers years ago, are no longer. They are not only good, but great friends. Somewhere there is a fine line between being a professional and being a person. I think in our attempt to remain professional, districts have drawn heavy lines farther back than they needed to be.
In addition, we are actually judged as teachers by how well we convey 21st century ideas. I was at the Title 1 conference in Seattle and had the privilege of hearing William Daggett. He asked about technologies teachers are using and the list was surprisingly short. So this raises the question, why aren’t we as educators at least embracing technologies appealing to our students?
Then I read this one on Edutopia by Stephen Anderson who is in WSFCS. Along with a couple of other staffers, they developed a simple document that was not pages and pages long and not full of more dos and don’ts than can be remembered.
I’ve got to say, it gives me hope that we can figure out a way as teachers to realistically use social media in our classrooms and that districts will loosen the reigns a bit so that it can happen.