Create my own blog assignment! Sweeeeeet!
Read this post "Who Chooses the Communication Tool?" by Jeff Utecht on his blog The Thinking Stick. Comment on his post.
What are your opinions after reading this? Would you let students contact you in this way? Should students be allowed to do that? Research the school system you want to teach in and find out if those schools have Facebook, cell phone, and blog access restrictions. Find out if the school system has a blog or Facebook page. How would you deal with these restrictions? (If you don't know where you want to teach then research Mobile County Public Schools.)
I agree with the idea that Facebook and cell phones should be allowed to contact teachers and guidance counselors. I think it would be even better if the Principal of each school had his or her own personal Facebook page. When I say personal, I mean for his professional job...not use his personal Facebook where all his friends can access it. I mean just a separate one for his job that parents and students can access. Just think how the Principal could create open communication, update the community and parents, and actually respond to comments that parents, students, anyone leaves. It's way better than just the school's website.
I would definitely let my students contact me on Facebook and my cell phone. If they have a question, I would know at a moment's notice. I also think that students SHOULD be able to contact teachers in this way. I know that a lot of people wouldn't agree...in fact I'm having a discussion with a friend on Facebook about this topic right now. She thinks that Facebook is totally unprofessional and teachers should not be allowed to use it with their students. She thinks this crosses the line of professional life into personal life. I disagree as long as Facebook is used for communication purposes only. What's the big deal? It's the teacher's responsibility to use discretion, say things appropriately, etc.
I looked up Mobile County Public Schools. I know that students aren't allowed to have cell phones at school per the Student Handbook. However they bring them and have them out all the time. I tutor through Talent Search at USA and go to 3 Mobile County schools. Students have them out in front of teachers all the time. Teachers don't enforce the rule. However, there is a rule stating no cell phones at school.
Mobile County also has restrictions on their server for accessing Facebook and blogs. In fact I found an article about how Mobile County is trying to enforce a new policy about using Facebook to communicate with students. And I TOTALLY disagree with the article, what the superintendent is trying to do, etc. It says teacher's can create a "teacher page" where students and teachers can interact (I do agree with), but the policy is wanting to make teachers only communicate through school e-mail and/or website (which I don't agree with). Why limit the resources a student can communicate with? However, Mobile County Public Schools does have a Facebook page for all the schools systemwide in the county. But isn't it a little hypocritical for the county to have a Facebook page with announcements, etc. if the students can't even access it at school? Hmmm.....
As far as dealing with these restrictions...
I definitely wouldn't like it...but as a teacher I would try and push to the limit as much as I could. I don't want to get fired and I know that all these legislators and board members around here don't understand 21st century technology and how it should be incorporated in the classroom AT ALL, but I would just have to deal. I hope one day all these people will just open their eyes and wake up!