There’s no denying that Facebook is a powerful tool for communication. But what are the boundaries when it comes to kids on Facebook? For example, what happens when your child wants to become “Facebook friends” with one of their teachers?
A recent poll of 7,112 Ontario high school students (from three different boards) by the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association included questions to examine students’ attitudes about interacting with teachers via social media. Around 2,400 parents were asked similar questions. According to the results, “Just under two-thirds of students say it is acceptable for students to connect with teachers through social media websites. On the other hand, the vast majority of parents say it is not acceptable.”
While parents (and the Ontario College of Teachers, for that matter) may not be totally on board with the idea of kids and teachers interacting on Facebook, Const. Scott Mills, social media officer for the Toronto police, recently told attendees of a Canadian Safe School Network conference that communication via social media platforms (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) could benefit teachers and students as it offers the potential for mentoring, building relationships, and even preventing tragedies.
What do you think? Should teachers and students be friends on Facebook?