Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Conundrum

There is abundant discussion about a teacher's role online. Many teachers have blogs. Some blog incognito about their school and students, others do it openly for the benefit of parents and students. There is the issue of Facebook and whether to friend a student, or maybe do it after the student graduates or maybe never. Some teachers say it's their duty to be visible in the online community to monitor and protect the teenagers who may put out warning signs of trouble and need a responsible person to recognize them. My first instinct is to not friend students, but one teacher on a message board reasoned that she could add her students in a group on facebook that was not allowed to see her entire profile. Okay, so limited access is a good way to handle it and the teacher would still have access to what the students were putting online. That is where teachers (can I say older teachers without being ageist?) are afraid they could get into trouble having access to pictures and information the students may be participating in that is illegal. Like, Hey is anyone getting a keg for Bonehead's party this weekend while his parents are out of town? A teacher might think it's a joke or might LIKE to think it's a joke. Probably it isn't though and the teacher should check in with Bonehead to let him know he'd be a bonehead to have a party while his parents are out of town this weekend and maybe she should email his parents. People who grow/grew up in small towns can tell about so and so telling their parents about what they saw them doing. The whole village theory. It's an online village--ivillage, remember? I used to do the message boards there before blog and facebook.

Anyway, while pondering this whole facebook thing, I suddenly thought about my blog. I don't say anything on my blog that I wouldn't say to my family. They know how I stand on politics, kids, food, religion... sorta they know about religion. I don't even quite know where I stand on religion... it's a moving target. Anyway, I think I'm a pretty respectful person on here and am mostly anonymous. I'm tempted to delete all photos, but then I scan through the multitude of blogs about families and children. My blog covers it all though.

But would I really want students reading it?

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