Social Networks: Education beyond the Classroom?

Social Networks: Education beyond the Classroom?

Ngochoai Tran (School Teacher, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 3
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-492-5.ch022
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Mr. Taylor, a new and techno savvy teacher, stays connected by maintaining his own social network pages. However, after seeing that other students were using his social network page as a medium for negativity, gossip, inappropriate conversations, and unsuitable remarks, he questioned its continued use as a helpful teaching tool for those utilizing it appropriately.
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The Case

Mr. Taylor is a new teacher at Harrison Woods High School teaching geometry. He believes technology is the key to reaching and engaging students of this generation. Mr. Taylor is extremely techno savvy and up to date with all the new technologies introduced to education as well as stays connected by having his own social network pages.

Mr. Taylor was an engaging and popular teacher. His students quickly located his social networking pages and added him as a friend. Despite the warnings of his peers, Mr. Taylor expected no harm staying connected with his students via this popular new electronic platform. He had nothing to hide nor any personal things posted on his social network page. As he began befriending more students, his network began to grow and more students began adding him, even students who were not in his class. Mr. Taylor viewed this trend as a great opportunity to reach out to his students. He began to post school review sheets on his social network page and even used his page to converse with any students who had homework questions.

Mr. Taylor continued on with all this technology both in class and after work. He felt that social networking really helped connect him and his students and strengthened the student-teacher relationship. Mr. Taylor was very cautious and kept his page very professional.

A few months later, as he was skimming through his friends’ updates, he noticed a student posting about brownies with a drug connotation. He was uncertain how the post got there. Any number of things may have happened. Perhaps the student’s profile was hacked into. Perhaps it was a joke made to get someone’s attention. Regardless, he was faced with a decision to make: Would he report this? And if so, to whom would he report it? Around the same time the brownie post appeared, Mr. Taylor noticed inappropriate discussion topics between some of his students. The topics varied, ranging from gossip to insults. And even though social networking is a great tool for sending messages and helping students, Mr. Taylor now found himself in a difficult situation.

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