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

Comments: 41

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

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

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

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

Facebook is important !!!

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John Volk
Union City, NJ

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

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

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

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

Our system just transformed the district by doing away with middle school in one fell swoop. This caused concern, consternation and general dismay. None of the repercussions were considered. Our old faculty keeps in touch through a group on Facebook. It helps to have a sounding board.

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Sheila Falkenberg
Toledo
Toledo, OH

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

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

There is no going back. We are well-advised to use the technology to teach, and conquer our own lack of confidence if need be. The kids know all about how to use the tools. Help them appreciate the benefits of applying their expertise to accomplish learning what is needed to provide them a more secure future.

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Sharon Waagner
Long Lake NY
Torrington, CT

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

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