iKeepSafe Blog

Should Teachers be on Social Media sites and other ethical questions

As we head into 2012, let me introduce you to a new cyber phenomenon—Cyberbaiting. Some of you may not know what it means, many kids do, and unfortunately many teachers have dealt with it.

According to the Norton Online Family Report, released November 17, 2011, cyberbaiting is “a growing phenomenon where students taunt their teachers, then capture the distressed reactions via cell phone videos.”

Shockingly, the same Norton Report states that one in five teachers have experienced cyberbaiting or know of a coworker who has experienced it, and says that of the teachers questioned:

–51% stated that their school has a code of conduct for communication between students and teachers.
–67% stated that being friends with students on social networks exposes them to risks.
–34%, despite the known risks, continue to befriend their students.
–80% call for more online safety education in schools, which is only supported by 70% of the parents questioned.

These percentages lead me to a few ethical questions. I would welcome your feedback by simply sharing your comments to this article.

1) Is it necessary for a teacher to be added to your teen’s social media site?

2) Should teachers become “friends” with teens on social media sites?

3) Does your student’s school have a code of conduct in place? If not, Why?

4) I leave you with one more question, “How many internet safety experts does it take to open your minds to better decision making?”

There is no question the last few years have continued to create issues facing students and teachers and the way they are communicating. What is deemed appropriate to one parent, school, or teacher, may be abnormal to another parent, school, or teacher.

For more details on what iKeepSafe recommends when it comes to teachers and Facebook, read this blog post—the first of three installments on the topic—by iKeepSafe CEO & President Marsali Hancock.

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Dennis Schmid is a married father of 3 living in Mesa, Arizona. Dennis works full-time for the leader in Identity Theft Protection and has first-hand knowledge of what society needs to protect families and businesses from cyber-attacks and identity theft.

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Categories: Educational Issues, Social Networking

2 Comments

  1. leslie says:
    January 11, 2012

    What does cyberbaiting have to do with befriending students on social networking sites? It seems that it would be two unconnected issues.

  2. Dennis says:
    January 11, 2012

    Leslie-

    Thank you for your reply. To respond to your question,

    “What does cyberbaiting have to do with befriending students on social networking sites?”

    Please read the following statement from the Norton Online Family Report which answers your question.

    “Perhaps some of this interaction comes from 34 percent of teachers who are “friends” with their students on social networks. But teachers are aware of the inherent potential for line crossing, with 67 percent of them who say those friendships exposes them to risks.”

    I highly recommend reading the report and would hope that parents concerned with whether or not it is acceptable behavior, will address the issue with their children’s school.

    Thanks again for your reply Leslie.

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