21st Century Learning #59: Students Discussing Social Networking between Faculty and Students

21st Century Learning #59
Students Discussing Social Networking Between Faculty and Students
with Special Guests, Laurie Bartels, Andrew ('09), and Kristi ('10) from Rye Country Day School and Banoo ('10) and Kari ('08) from Hewitt School.
December 12, 2007

We continued our conversation about appropriate boundries between teachers and students in social networks with students from Rye Country Day School and Hewitt School.

What are you experiences with Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network and your students? What boundries do you draw?


2007-12-12 11:51:16 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: hey arvind.
2007-12-12 11:59:12 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: Hello.
2007-12-12 12:12:48 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: Hi Guys
2007-12-12 12:13:25 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: hi Lucy, we;re live on EdTechTalk A
2007-12-12 12:14:14 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: audio on EdTechTalk A below
2007-12-12 12:14:47 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: Hey Lucy and featheredflow.
2007-12-12 12:15:22 [Message] featheredflowers -> EdTechTalk: Hi Alex
2007-12-12 12:15:37 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: hi Robin, audio on EdTechTalk A below
2007-12-12 12:15:40 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: Hey Fred and Robin
2007-12-12 12:15:42 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: anyone have questions for our students?
2007-12-12 12:16:05 [Message] robin ellis -> EdTechTalk: Thanks got it
2007-12-12 12:16:45 [Message] robin ellis -> EdTechTalk: my server connection timed out
2007-12-12 12:17:04 [Message] robin ellis -> EdTechTalk: Hi Lucy
2007-12-12 12:17:40 [Message] featheredflowers -> EdTechTalk: What are your favorite social networking sites?
2007-12-12 12:17:43 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: audio on EdTechTalk A below
2007-12-12 12:17:47 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: Up to 7 listeners.
2007-12-12 12:19:58 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: interesting.... I have often had my students IM jsut to say hi or ask questions... I think if you create an environment in the classroom where we are comfortabel with each other, that transfers nicely to online environments
2007-12-12 12:20:02 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: hello all, welcome, leave questions for students here
2007-12-12 12:20:13 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: Hi Fred.
2007-12-12 12:20:23 [Message] fred bartels -> EdTechTalk: Hi Alex
2007-12-12 12:20:48 [Message] featheredflowers -> EdTechTalk: Do you use any Content Management System like Moodle or Blackboard?
2007-12-12 12:21:05 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: question for students - Would you tend to IM a teacher that you liked and got along with while hesitating to IM a teacher you did not like or feel close to?
2007-12-12 12:21:06 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: We use Moodle - we call it CourseWeb
2007-12-12 12:21:12 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: Yes, both schools where these students are from have moodle.
2007-12-12 12:21:44 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: my students always thought it was "cool" that I used IM -
2007-12-12 12:22:13 [Message] robin ellis -> EdTechTalk: We have no IM or student email enabled in our district
2007-12-12 12:24:54 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: I used to tell my students do NOT expect me to respond to an email past 9 PM, because Mrs. Peters needed her beauty sleep. It was always respected.
2007-12-12 12:25:47 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: I have teachers that schedule specific times at night for chatting
2007-12-12 12:26:16 [Message] KristianStill -> EdTechTalk: Is that not the same for teachers in school. Some are welling to talk in their lunch and others do not.
2007-12-12 12:26:25 [Message] KristianStill -> EdTechTalk: during
2007-12-12 12:26:48 [Message] KristianStill -> EdTechTalk: There are now 24/7 schools with flexible timetables
2007-12-12 12:27:17 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: oooohhhh,... she just hit a very sore point!
2007-12-12 12:27:32 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: I am not really an advocate of homework - more ongoing project work
2007-12-12 12:27:39 [Message] KristianStill -> EdTechTalk: We are talking about 24/7 education
2007-12-12 12:28:07 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: online environments, such as moodle and IM, actually do provide ALMOST synchronous ways of communicating with our students.
2007-12-12 12:28:30 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: teachers have misconceptions, too!
2007-12-12 12:28:51 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: open communication with the students is key. Sometimes I am available (and will let them know) and sometimes I have other obligations outside of class time
2007-12-12 12:29:08 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: It is a question of mutual respect
2007-12-12 12:29:09 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: It's the idea of teaching students and teachers about having an online presence. What does it mean....
2007-12-12 12:29:47 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: Teachers should be modelling appropriate online communication
2007-12-12 12:30:02 [Message] robin ellis -> EdTechTalk: I agree with you Susan, there are also constraints as Alex is talking about regarding time too.
2007-12-12 12:30:06 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: They NEED good models
2007-12-12 12:30:33 [Message] robin ellis -> EdTechTalk: Yes Sharon they do
2007-12-12 12:31:04 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: @sharonp I agree that modelling doesn't end at the school door.
2007-12-12 12:31:10 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: Awww come on....how old? I'm 55 and IM:)
2007-12-12 12:31:12 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: I am listening in but getting a lot of echo. Anyone able to help reduce the echo?
2007-12-12 12:31:30 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: Thanks:)
2007-12-12 12:31:38 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: We teach 16-19 students, graduates can be teaching aged 22! Are there potential issues online?
2007-12-12 12:32:10 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: I can see the "uncomfortable factor" coming into play
2007-12-12 12:32:25 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Its cool. it was coming through two sources.
2007-12-12 12:32:57 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Ignorance is bliss Alex?
2007-12-12 12:33:05 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: Facebook is really not able to be divided into "genres" - two presencescould be necessary
2007-12-12 12:33:11 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Happen here in the UK plenty
2007-12-12 12:33:29 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Am I able to speak or can I only listen
2007-12-12 12:33:32 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: ?
2007-12-12 12:33:38 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: Ignorance is bliss.
2007-12-12 12:33:45 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: not just teachers should be in FB, but parents too... all my three kids on FB, and so am I and my husband
2007-12-12 12:33:47 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: LOL Alex
2007-12-12 12:34:00 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Good point Sharonp
2007-12-12 12:34:21 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: There have been a high number of newpaper articles here!
2007-12-12 12:34:28 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: montgorp -- Because we have so many in the skype conference, we're going to take question in the chat room today.
2007-12-12 12:34:37 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: interesting model - last year our school's head boy and head girl were so concerned about this issue, that they went to the admin and asked to talk to the student body about what and how they were communicating on FB and other social networking sites - it was VERY powerful!
2007-12-12 12:34:55 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: wow, sharonp, I'll bet it was
2007-12-12 12:34:55 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: 70% employee reportedly Googled potential employee!
2007-12-12 12:35:09 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: employers
2007-12-12 12:35:19 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: there are serious long-term issues and consequences involved in this issue
2007-12-12 12:35:19 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Guidelines, rather than rules.
2007-12-12 12:35:37 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: Kristian -- I have.
2007-12-12 12:36:01 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Alex, do you mean they are guidelines or fixed rules?
2007-12-12 12:36:08 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Thanks Alex. I'm going to try to use skype
2007-12-12 12:36:34 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: Our rule is that students can't use their school email on social networks...but otherwise, it's up to them
2007-12-12 12:36:48 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: We do try to talk to them about potential issues though
2007-12-12 12:36:55 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: If a site is online and not held private, it is open to everyone.
2007-12-12 12:37:01 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: I have looked at a student using FB 4th grade with no parent supervision
2007-12-12 12:37:02 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: We use the footprint analogy
2007-12-12 12:37:12 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: good idea
2007-12-12 12:37:17 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Many students dont realise.
2007-12-12 12:37:29 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: @Kristianstill - footprint analogy is good
2007-12-12 12:37:36 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: derrallg -- gosh -- that's young.
2007-12-12 12:37:47 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: I feel a responsibility to help check up on him
2007-12-12 12:37:54 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: They need to realize that open, means open.
2007-12-12 12:37:56 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: not a friend
2007-12-12 12:38:08 [Message] featheredflowers -> EdTechTalk: giving them access provides teaching opportunities on netiquette skills
2007-12-12 12:38:18 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: BBC NEWS | Education | Unruly students' Facebook search
2007-12-12 12:38:47 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Lots of Facebook articles here in UK education news.
2007-12-12 12:38:52 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Yeha I fell uncomfortable with being FB friends with kids who haven't left school yet.
2007-12-12 12:39:31 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Should we not be emphasising professional values? Rather than F2F / online dichotomy
2007-12-12 12:39:41 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Can't access skype so will just have to listen in,
2007-12-12 12:39:44 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: Yes....good point Laurie
2007-12-12 12:40:01 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: Key words - values, etiquette, guidelines
2007-12-12 12:40:16 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Agree @Sharonbetts
2007-12-12 12:40:22 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: oh absolutely,,, we have to have guidleines
2007-12-12 12:40:33 [Message] susan -> EdTechTalk: yes, easier
2007-12-12 12:40:51 [Message] robin ellis -> EdTechTalk: Just as with using blogs or wikis online extensions of classrooms, just as was said, the commuication is an extension of your classroom and behavior should be as well
2007-12-12 12:40:59 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: we use a short wiki charter to guide their decisions, but making decisions are an important education
2007-12-12 12:41:01 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Yes but we can be paranoid about that
2007-12-12 12:41:06 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: Where does our responsibility beyond the classroom begin and end when the students don't have guidance?
2007-12-12 12:41:25 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: gd point @derrallg
2007-12-12 12:41:27 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: But a difference between classroom extensions and open social networks that you opt to join
2007-12-12 12:41:31 [Message] Art Gelwicks -> EdTechTalk: Rules require enforecement.
2007-12-12 12:41:32 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Yes... it is a very fluid environement
2007-12-12 12:41:48 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: derrallg: I think it's the responsibility of the institution to create that student guidance.
2007-12-12 12:41:55 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Rules? Time is pretty important.
2007-12-12 12:42:04 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: @derralg guidance of students never ends in my opinion
2007-12-12 12:42:13 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: I want her in my classes
2007-12-12 12:42:23 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Windows of time like early evening.
2007-12-12 12:42:29 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: @sharon thats how i feel
2007-12-12 12:42:38 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Not after a reasonable time.
2007-12-12 12:42:42 [Message] Art Gelwicks -> EdTechTalk: How do the guidelines extend to former teachers?
2007-12-12 12:42:46 [Message] robin ellis -> EdTechTalk: gotta run, great conversation, thanks all
2007-12-12 12:42:49 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Yeas but you have to define friends
2007-12-12 12:42:58 [Message] Art Gelwicks -> EdTechTalk: Bingo!
2007-12-12 12:43:08 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Yes I think that it is appropriate to be freinds with an ex-student
2007-12-12 12:43:26 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: We use FB to facilitate Alumni formation
2007-12-12 12:43:37 [Message] alex.ragone -> EdTechTalk: montgorp -- yes, I agree.
2007-12-12 12:43:59 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: @montgorp I always ask students about parent involvement when they contact me as exstudents
2007-12-12 12:44:16 [Message] Art Gelwicks -> EdTechTalk: Why wouldn't a social site be an opportunity for a teacher to provide more than just classroom experience and mentorship?
2007-12-12 12:44:31 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: My principal wants to set rules in place for the weakest, most stupid teacher but I can;t agree with that
2007-12-12 12:44:41 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: digital life is somewhat detached, hence students have more difficult decisions
2007-12-12 12:44:42 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: I teach 4th to 6th so they are lying about their age and admit it to me many times
2007-12-12 12:45:11 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Students regularly text in lateness.....
2007-12-12 12:45:21 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: As our school texts missed classes.
2007-12-12 12:45:22 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: I had a student use her mother's name in Facebook and then try to befriend me.
2007-12-12 12:45:27 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Yes we create a group
2007-12-12 12:45:38 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: LucyGray - thats worrying
2007-12-12 12:45:47 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: What exposed here?
2007-12-12 12:45:48 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: Very odd... I ignored it.
2007-12-12 12:45:50 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: her
2007-12-12 12:45:56 [Message] Art Gelwicks -> EdTechTalk: I am "friends" with a number of our students in FB and use it as an opportunity to guide them when they stray into behaviod that could be problematic.
2007-12-12 12:45:58 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: I recognized her mom's name
2007-12-12 12:46:18 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: Different last names and I don't know her mom, other than thru a couple of emails
2007-12-12 12:46:35 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: I think the lying about age thing is huge too
2007-12-12 12:46:49 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: I'm sure many parents are not aware of what their kids are doing
2007-12-12 12:46:59 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Checking with parents involvement surely tends onthe age of the students. Surely You wouldn;t check with the parents of 17-18 year olds. Surely by then parents are out of the loop by then.
2007-12-12 12:47:02 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: @lucygray that's what it seems like to me
2007-12-12 12:47:20 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: I guess it depends on the local culture and the local legal framework
2007-12-12 12:47:38 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: its as if they use me as a sounding board to how I react to lying
2007-12-12 12:48:21 [Message] derrallg -> EdTechTalk: this was great and I will share this with my staff thanks :)
2007-12-12 12:48:23 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: Thanks guys. I appreciated being here.
2007-12-12 12:48:48 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: bye everyone
2007-12-12 12:49:05 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: cya all
2007-12-12 12:49:06 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Arvind / Alex.... sorry I could not get back sooner. We only just finished the game.
2007-12-12 12:49:07 [Message] sharonbetts -> EdTechTalk: Very nice conversation - thanks so much.
2007-12-12 12:49:17 [Message] LucyGray -> EdTechTalk: bye
2007-12-12 12:49:18 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: no problem, thanks for being here
2007-12-12 12:49:22 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: thanks All
2007-12-12 12:49:25 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Cup game.... but the good news is, we won.
2007-12-12 12:49:30 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: a skype chat on this would be great
2007-12-12 12:49:37 [Message] montgorp -> EdTechTalk: anyway... cya
2007-12-12 12:49:47 [Message] sharonp -> EdTechTalk: great conversation folks - these are important issues and it is nice to hear the students' voices
2007-12-12 12:50:16 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Students love Google presenter for such homeworks
2007-12-12 12:51:30 [Message] Kristianstill -> EdTechTalk: Have a good week gents
2007-12-12 12:51:53 [Message] arvind -> EdTechTalk: see ya Kristian


Just to add another perspective, I had my Facebook account before high school students could even get one. I have never "friended" one of my students, but I don't mind if they friend me. If there are parts of my account that I'm so worried about someone seeing, it shouldn't be on Facebook.

The important part for me was where someone said that 5 years ago, the conversation would have been about email. I agree! It is ridiculous to think that any part of the public Internet will be private for some group of people. Social networking will be common place, just as SMS text messaging will be common communication.

Appropriate conversation is appropriate conversation whether it is on the phone, by letter, email or text message. If a student contacts me because he or she needs help and I happen to be online and not busy I'm always fine with helping. As they say, if you can't talk, don't answer the phone, but don't answer and frantically inform the caller that you can't talk....

Susan, thanks for the comment. I made the comment that e-mail would have been the topic of this discussion 5 years ago. There is at least one difference though between e-mail and Facebook interaction. On Facebook, everything (for the most part) is public, whereas on e-mail, it is only beteween the people exchanging messages.

So as a teacher, a student might send me a school-related e-mail, then send a friend an e-mail discussing private things for their ears only - I only got the one intended for my eyes. If we take Facebook, a student might post a perfectly-appropriate wall post to me, then a post that should be between her and a friend that I now have access to. This is where the situation gets cloudy for me. Again, I think there should be places for kids to interact without me.

I think that some interaction is inevitable, we just need to frame it in a way where we know both kids and teachers can be successful with it. That's the hard part. What are the guidelines?

I too am interested in continuing this conversation. I wonder at one of the student's comments that she would feel uncomfortable knowing that her teacher was looking at her facebook page, yet she is fine posting it on the internet where anyone could see it. Does it make a difference whether it's her teacher, her pastor, mailman, grocery clerk, etc.. I worry that kids have a sense of annonymity with such online accounts.

That leads me to an overall question that is why we insist one treating internet communication separately from any other form of communication. We ask questions like whether chat at 10:00pm is appropriate, or what are signs of cyber bullying. It seems to me that it's not the means of the communication that should be the issue, but the communication itself. The question should be whether we interact with our students outside of the established school hours and locations, not how we interact with them. Why would we treat cyber bullying any different than we would treat playground bullying or school bus bullying.

Being a teacher in my 30s I'm not sure where I fall in the digital native/immigrant spectrum, but it seems to me that we should not scrutinize the technology or the media, but what is being done with it.

Love to hear more perspectives on this... I think it's an important issue as we move forward and are working to get more teachers using technology efficiently.

Tim McKean