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Kindergarten teacher from Minnesota

I agree with this as well. I

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I agree with this as well. I can't say that I have a Twitter account that I use, but find that there are similar circumstances with any social networking site. I think that it is okay to have students or even parents that follow you or are your friend, but you must maintain your professionalism at all times. Often, you can model to your students how to appropriately use the site and use it as a teaching tool.

Junior and Senior Language arts Teacher, North Dakota

Agreed

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I believe this will be useful in the near future, if not now. I currently do not have a Twitter account, but I can see advantages to having an educational account as a way of staying connected with both students and other educators. I appreciate the posting of these guidelines not only as an outline for my conduct, but as a learning tool for the students. Digital citizenship is extremely important, and Tweeting with students would be an excellent venue for teaching them the importance of their digital self.

English/ICT teacher

Before a couple of years ago

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Before a couple of years ago I can't recall any school having any strict guidelines.

Last year I was at a school where the rules were what can be said but didn't restrict contact through social media. My self imposed rules was keeping Twitter personal (by making my Twitter name difficult to associate with me, as used on this site), setting up a work only Facebook account (and also changing my name) and limiting what I post on there. Only once did a student ask something that was too work related to post a reply on Facebook and I asked him to speak to me instead to keep within the school guidelines. I've frequently reminded students that what they post on social networks is very public, tantamount to going to a city centre and shouting from a soap box, it's just a case of whether anyone is listening in both cases.

I attempted to set up an in-house blogging system (using Google apps) but found the students were suspicious of it and despite offering credit points for their contributions found they were only doing what was required and maintaining public blogs elsewhere. I would certainly welcome suggestions how this could be done better in the future. I also attempted to include CoverItLive on their home pages. Initially I set it up so they can post unrestricted but as soon as they worked out anonymous messages could be posted it was used for bullying and spamming. So I put restrictions that meant messages needed to be approved by a selected student within small groups (student selected) but found they lost enthusiasm and after the lesson never used the system. Students complained when I asked them to send questions through CiL and it faded out of use.

Then I had a think about how to get them engaged and set up a Facebook (private) group for the class, linked a shared Google pages account where there were links to their individual pages and then I found that the level on engagement and independent learning increased a fair amount. I'd like to say it was more dramatic but most of my classes were very hard work!

I left the school last summer and joined another school as an English teacher. Here the rules are very simple. No contact is allowed with students through any form of social media. I find that effective but very dull.

Editorial Assistant and Blogger

Useful Post

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Nicholas,

These are really practical and well-thought-out guidelines. I like how you set the ground rules immediately so that there is not misunderstandings.

High School Teacher, Hoffman Estates

I see this being extremely important in the near future.

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Our School district will approve a code of conduct that we will have to follow and makes so much sense because it deals with us and being safe went commenting or have a discussion with students. I am working on adding different Joomla Extension that allow students to blog on my site that is protected and can only be used by them. I have created various quizzes and have used the free sites to enhance the subject matter being presented. Students have been told since the start of the year what the expectations are they will be held accountable for and any violation will cause them to loss credit and or privileges on the site. Students don't abuse this because they know that the technology is there to help them. But there are other technologies that are not being used correctly by many teachers and that has caused them to step into the news because of miss use. Technology is growing at an exponential rate and teachers need to know how to use the technology in a safe and useful way.

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