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JudithGunn
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I know I'm a bit late with this, but I am alarmed by the advice. There is a huge amount of suspicion directed at social networking in teaching, often perpetuated by people who don't use it and have little idea of how it can be managed appropriately. I teach 16 - 19s and went on FB a couple of years ago, my institution still has no policy on this and so I had to make the decision without advice. I decided, much like the contributor above, that it should be all or none, no favouritism. I have lists, I do isolate some of my information, but on the whole I don't post anything that isn't already available, or I couldn't stand by in public. As I type away on a snow day, I have alerted some of my students to a Forum I have posted on our VLE, if the VLE were better networked I could probably dispense with the FB contacts - but it isn't. Finally, when students leave they remain in contact through FB and that is really useful, they often contact me either as a friend or through the message system to update on their careers or get advice, so far my experience has been positive - but I do fear the prescription of the institution. I have not always been a teacher, I write books and I blog, this benefits the institution I work for and I would regard it as censorship if they attempted to proscribe without, at the very least, negotiating with me.
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Jan 7, 2010