N.J. Introducing New Rules for Student/Teacher Interactions | Education News by Julie Lawrence (May 2nd, 2012)
New Jersey prohibits teachers from "friending" students on Facebook, giving them presents or rides and severely limits any interaction outside of school.
Do you think rules for student/teacher interaction are meant for everyone across the board or is this a site-based decision? Is there a difference in rules for large city schools and smaller rural schools? What do you think?
This is a great question Jane, also in light of New York's new policy. For Facebook I wouldn't "friend" a current student anyway, but I do think Facebook pages (which are allowed) for classes are a good idea if that's where students are most often and you want to send updates, general encouragement, etc. Those can also can facilitate parent engagement for parents who want another way to know what's happening in the classroom.
Years ago I used to email "dinner table discussion" questions based on class discussions to a group of parents, but that was before Facebook. If I were still teaching high school students I would definitely want to engage parents in that way (not a personal account but as a page).
I also wonder about Twitter, which seems tough to monitor because the teacher can't control if a student chooses to follow a personal account (unless he/she protects the tweets from everyone, which restricts use for business purposes which would impact the teacher's income, which would be a problem. Overall I think all professionals write, or tweet or post, in public places understanding that anyone--students or not--can see it).
I love your idea of sending parents an email "dinner table discussion" question based on class discussions. What a great way of extending learning beyond the classroom.
You and Rose Kennedy had a lot in common. She had a bulletin board where she posted newspaper clippings and every child, including John F. Kennedy, was required to skim the articles on the bulletin board before dinner and be prepared to discuss any of them.
You may well have fostered a future president with your dinner table discussion emails.