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

Comments: 41

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

Extremely, students beg, borrow and steal to check their facebook accounts...in and out of class....there is no turning back we have to embrace these platforms to reach our students...I am sure teachers are finding ways to harness the power of the social media..we must guide the students instead of block their intelligence and creativity. This new platform is media friendly and globally connected...Teachers have to teach with the new tools.

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Stuart Dailey
Baltimore Teachers Union
Baltimore, MD

I am the computer teacher. Students were skipping their classes or were tardy and sneaking into my room to check Facebook accounts. I had to ban certain students from my classroom. During class, I had to keep a constant watch that students were actually doing a lesson rather than on Facebook. Finally, the school district had the ISD--the school's Internet provider--block Facebook and YouTube from the district's server. The students would provoke fights in the hall, cell phone video the fights, and place the fights on YouTube for student viewing at night. Now the students have found a link to crack the code and get on Facebook anyway.

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Marsha Stewart
Ecorse Federation of Teachers
Southfield, MI

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

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

Facebook and other social media have not affected my school or classroom, that I am aware of, because I am a kindergarten teacher in a K-5 building.

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Regina Bates-Hardy
Lake county Federation local 504
WAUKEGAN, IL

So far it hasn't gotten into my kindergarten classroom, I am happy to say. But I'm waiting and watching. I would be okay communicating with other classes around the world through an online tool.

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Shari Gewanter
LCTA
Tallahassee, FL

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

Facebook and other social media have not affected my 3rd grade classroom. However, I have seen some pretty intense bullying and harassment situations at the middle and high school level. I believe social media are being used by pre-teens and teens to intimidate and harass others at a level that cannot be monitored or addressed by the authorities.

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Tanya Darnell
Montrose, CO

I use it as a reward. If this task is done or if you have all your work done, you get 5 minutes for social media. This works well. I also post messages on my page for them to read.

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Nance Sucharski
VTO
New Smyrna Beach, 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

It makes it exceedingly difficult and risky to conduct controversial discussions. It impairs academic freedom. It is a continuing stress and distraction, since phones not only carry disruptive messages but can be used to photograph, record and create utterly false defamatory material. This can then be used to destroy the reputations and careers of staff and students. Obviously, there are many beneficial and entertaining uses ... ELSEWHERE.

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MaryMelissa Grafflin
UESF
San Francisco, CA

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

No one is allowed to access Facebook or any social site at school. Teachers are forbidden from friending any minor or communicating electronically except in extreme school-related instances, such as a coach texting players about practice. Welcome to the 19th century.

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Tim Murphy
Highlands cea
Sebring, FL

The social media is something we need to embrace, not fight, to learn and and run from it. The students love using the technology and they support each other in their learning. I teach language arts in sixth grade and I have students posting their great beginnings of their writing to each other, finding support and quotes from each other to make their writing stronger, and I am able to save a ton on copy costs by posting PDFs on the site that they use most and they can look it up at any time. When people tell me that my students need to learn to read and write with paper an pencil, I'm usually reading that on an e-mail. It is the future.

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Neal Clark
Highlands Ranch, CO

Facebook is only an escape for lazy individuals who think it's a great idea. Educational values are defined by what one learns and retains in the mind, not from other sources.

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Rene Salinas
south texas
San Juan, TX

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

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

I teach technology classes in a computer lab. From the minute students log on, they're on Facebook, which the district stopped blocking last year. I wouldn't mind if they'd do their work first, but they are too busy sending superficial content, bad cell phone pictures, and grammatically incorrect messages to each other to focus on their assignments.

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Donald Gentz
TX AFT
Richardson, TX

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

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

In elementary, it has not had the impact with students that it seems to have in upper grades. However, we had an issue at our school where a disgruntled parent with an obvious ax to grind got on Facebook and slammed a teacher. It spread rapidly and had an adverse effect on the entire school. On the positive side, as a tool for the teacher, it has a potential to facilitate communication.

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Debra Scovill
AFT Utah Carbon
Price,, UT

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

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

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