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Facebook Code of Conduct for Teachers

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Originally designed to serve as a means to help college grads track each other down, Facebook has now become one of the largest social networking sites on the globe reaching the audience of about 1 billion users worldwide. People use it to stay in touch with their families, keep their friends posted on what is going on with them; they use it to establish business contacts, promote their brands or advertise goods.

With minimum age requirement for signing up of 13, more and more schoolers are attracted to this social network. Teachers are deeply concerned about its being harmful and distracting factor, which prevents students from learning.  However, many educators including college professors, educational policy makers, would argue with that saying that Facebook might actually turn out to be a great way to encourage students to learn, promote their interests and connect to them at a more personal level thus leaning more about their educational needs.

The nature of Facebook is somewhat intimate, people share their personal information, and talk about things that are important to them. The communication is mainly focused on one-to-one interaction of users, which might become a problem for a teacher, who does not know how to correctly manage the new boundaries imposed by social media. Twitter is a nice place to share useful learning material and links whereas Facebook requires for a more personal interaction. Before making up one’s mind on whether or not to befriend a student, any teacher should consider the form of interaction which is appropriate for them.

If a teacher decides to be friends with his students on Facebook he or she has to consider what level of privacy they want to maintain and which information they are willing to share. It’s important to remember that nothing is completely protected on the Web. Students on Facebook are still students and that means they tend to see you as a teacher even if you Like their photos and comments regularly.   Beware that your posts or photos are going to be seen as photos of someone who claims authority in class. Most students are not used to seeing their instructor with a bottle of beer or dressed inappropriately.

Social media experts recommend that a teacher who wants to use Facebook or any other social networking site to inform their students on school-related things, should probably consider creating a new Facebook account which contains very little or no personal information at all. And still if a student decides he does not want to be contacted by his teacher for any reason, his decision should be respected.

If a teacher uses social network to get in touch with his students regularly, clear guidelines should be set and all aspects discussed. Both a teacher and his student should understand which issues are open for discussion and which are better left out.

Social media resources present unlimited possibilities for learning and teaching. In order to make this process really beneficial, certain rules have to be followed.



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