Schools Struggle With Social Networking Policies

In America, children all over the country are ending their summer vacations and getting back into the swing of full time education. During their holiday, they have probably been enjoying the use of social networks to keep in touch with their friends, and now that they are back in school their teachers are considering whether or not to use social networking tools to communicate with their students.

Laurie Fox has an article for the Dallas Morning News about education authorities and their discussion over policies that dictate whether teachers can communicate with their students through sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Many coaches have been texting students to inform them of cancellations and updates for years, whilst others are unsure whether they want to break the ‘invisible barrier between the classroom and after-school life’.

The article contains many examples of teachers having explicit relationships with students, with teachers sending texts and e-mails containing amongst other things, pornographic images. Some schools have created blogs and Facebook pages for their classes so that they can interact outside of the classroom.

The question here is whether or not social networking can be used to enhance a child’s education. Aside from asking a question of a teacher outside of the classroom (and even then, the question of whether a teacher is required to answer out of work hours is a debatable issue), I can see no extra worth that Social Networks could bring.

What do you think? Should Facebook be used to enhance learning? Could it be of any use? Let us know in the comments.