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Teachers: How are Facebook and other social media affecting your school or classroom?

Comments: 41

Although Facebook and other social media sites are an obvious distraction in the lives of students these days, these kinds of sites are an inevitability to which teachers have to adjust. The use of technology and the level of connectedness that is a factor in the live's of today's youth is not going to decline and will, in fact, only become more and more prominent over time. Teachers have to find creative ways to incorporate sites like Facebook into their instruction in order to keep students attention and keep learning relevant.

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Megan Zeigler
Normal, IL

DONT REPLACE TEACHERS WITH TECHNOLOGY. WIFI in the classroom means the kids look at the screen not the teachers. Then they prefer the screen to the teachers. Then the school districts replace teachers and increase class sizes because there is NO EYE TO EYE CONTACT and its cheaper. We must STOP wifi in classrooms. It will be the end of the teaching profession as we know it. We will be replaced by technology. The kids wont need us. Stamp out multitasking. Keep eye to eye contact and the art of teaching.

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susie Smithers
California
Palo alto, CA

Facebook has its place and can be a good format for communication--OUTSIDE of school! I have witnessed more than a few fights between students due to someone writing a negative comment about the other on Facebook. That and texting are the new way kids pass notes in class, but this is much more far-reaching and potentially dangerous.

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Melody Reichart
Chicago Teacher's union
Arlington Heights, IL

I teach 8th grade in Brooklyn, N.Y. The students in my school constantly have fights over what is written on Facebook. It's so bad that even parents have been involved. The students use the social media to organize hooky parties. They also use it to jump and beat up others.

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Jackie Walkes
UFT
Far Rockaway, NY

These media encourage student cheating and other activities in class not related to learning. I have students who text during class, chat online, etc. Gosh, they even take calls right in the middle of class. OMG-WTF? I find it profoundly insulting and dismaying. As a result, I am designing a "behavior contract" all my students will have to sign which says that my classroom is an electronics-free zone and grades will be severely impacted if ones uses cell phones, etc., in class. The consequences will be VERY CLEAR. What a pain!

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Miriam Ben-Shalom
Local 212
Milwaukee, WI

Facebook is one of the most detrimental developments facing education in many years. The constant sneaking to check during school time causes immediate disruptions, and the use of Facebook to hurt others through bullying has taken on a life of its own. Since laws have not caught up with reality, more and more students are being victimized by cyber-bullies, which affects society as a whole.

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Paige Martin
Kingwood, TX

It is a constant problem. The electronic toys have become the fly on the wall for teachers in the classroom.

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angelina vinent
UTD
Hallandale, FL

Random texts of Twitter comments have no place in the schools. These are the comments of a teacher who does not get what we are supposed to be doing. Unsubstantiated comments by anybody with smart technology cannot be regulated and further helps the right- wing politicos view us all as irresponsible liberals. Get off your butt and teach the lessons with passion and a desire to reach out to all the students. Failure in the classroom is a failure of the teacher, plain and simple. Stop making excuses like we need more social interaction of some type to do a good job of teaching.

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mark henry
tft
the woodlands, TX

Our school just opened a social media site this year. My students have used social media since they were old enough to tap into the Internet, but our school continues to have spotty and inconsistent WiFi connections, despite our district's efforts at resolution. Many of my colleagues are nervous about how to deal with all this.

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Melody Barnhart
Lewisville, TX

Besides being an adjunct, I also train the blind and low vision. So I originally started a Facebook page to see if it was accessible with assistive technology. Then my communication students found me and descended like locusts. ;-) Facebook has solidified my relationship with many of the students, some whom have graduated and still stay in touch. In the classroom, I try to limit the distraction by some, but use it also to create a link to them and the media we use In class. On the other hand, the students have shown me ways to use the media I had not been aware of. This not only is great for me, but we develop a mutual respect.

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Patti Mitchell
Wpunj
Pompton lakes, NJ

I am working with students who are supposed to be recovering credits. Instead, all they want to do is use Facebook, YouTube, etc. There is a time and a place for each of these, but our students cannot make those decisions, at least not well enough to make sure that they graduate. In my regular classroom, it is a running battle to get them unhooked long enough for them to hear instructions!

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Carolyn Duncanson
Orlando, FL

Unfortunately, Facebook and other social media are blocked on our computers within the Philadelphia schools. It would be great if the students could communicate using the school computers. We could come up with lessons within our school, then throughout the greater Facebook community. We also have many students whose families cannot afford a home computer, and they cannot afford smartphones. The world is changing. Hopefully, the school district can change with it to help our students reach their highest potential.

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patricia berrian-marrujo
pft local 3
philadelphia, PA

Sometimes it seems that's all they can think about. I never thought of harnessing that power to reach students. That's a brilliant idea! However, an old fogie like me will need some creative ideas on how to do that. I'm not on Facebook and I don't know what I'd do to reach the students. Any ideas?

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Jeanne Sullivan
Chicago Teacher's Union
Brookfield, IL

These social media are a direct and total distraction (for a high percentage of students) from learning what are still considered basics at the high school level.

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(Prof. ) Paul Gammarano
UFT
Brooklyn, NY

Students are more concerned with social media than doing their class work. Students are allowed to use cell phones and iPods between classes. However, that is not where the use of the devices ends. Students try to take pictures of tests and email them, text message during class, and many spend more time with their media devices than the time they study or do any homework. Eletronic devices for educational purposes is wonderful, but being able to control how the devices are being used is almost impossible.

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Sandra Bradley
San Felipe, TX

Social media sites are absolutely a distraction. Many students obsessively seek a chance to check their pages.

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William (Tom) Chadwell
Campbell County AFT
Duff, TN

Unfortunately, the Minneapolis Public Schools server denies access to Facebook and YouTube for both students and teachers.

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Janet Kujat
MFT 59
Minneapolis, MN

Social media has had a great impact on how children communicate with one another. In terms of secondary schools, not so well. A lot of social/behavioral problems start on the web and end up in the school. Then it has to be dealt with by the school staff, i.e. deans, counselors and adminstrative staff. With all that we do, we really don't need the added stress that comes from social media.

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Steve Burrell
UFT
Brooklyn, NY

Students are more interested in their social networking than anything going on in the classroom. It is hard to compete with Facebook, Twitter, videos, etc.

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Elinor Garely
New York, NY

Facebook is not an issue. My students can go to it during breaks, before and after class or when they get their work done. They respect the fact that we use technology not only for learning but also as a reward. They respect it and have not gone overboard with it at my school.

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Floyd Collins
VSEA
Fremont, OH

The students spend all day checking Facebook and Twitter, and it drives me nuts! They will neglect their work but will check Twitter 100 times per day. It is extremely distracting. Several fights have broken out at my school due to things said on Twitter.

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Shelia Banks
Jefferson Federation of Teachers
Gretna , LA

So, people are being laid off on a massive scale, entire programs are being shut down--and you're asking us about Facebook and cellphones? Why not pose real and serious questions that are impacting our futures and well-being?

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Lin Rolens
ventura, CA

Facebook is too often used as a tool to vent about the hardships of life, including public work issues. It is also being used as a character assassination tool by those unable to cope with the injustices of normal, everyday life. People always seem to find a way to use a potentially good thing in a bad way. I personally avoid Facebook intentionally.

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Jerry Warren
Point Pleasant , WV

My wife and I are retired teachers of 33 years each, and our son and daugheter-in-law are young teachers. We believe that social media are here and there is no going back. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can just ban usage of such wonderful tools. Their power must be harnessed and used! I love reading from my Kindle app on my Droid X. Kids will, too. Textbooks ... hmmm ... how do we use them? Better get with the technology program or we are gonna lose them! Google and I can answer almost any question already, if you'll give me a minute.

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Norman Pond
Lifetime Member TSTA/NEA
McCaulley, TX

Students at East Los Angeles College, like other students across the country, embrace their social media and rely on it for personal news from friends and family. However, I have found that students may be adept at social media, but these skills do not necessarily translate to managing an online course or conducting a discussion on political and academic issues. Like all other tools at our disposal, social media have a place in our lives, but do not necessarily help students be better learners, or instructors be better teachers--the students and instructors do that themselves through intrinsic motivation.

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MariaElena Yepes
Local 1521
Monterey Park, CA

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