Facebook Teachers vs Students: No Contact Advised

Online social networking site Facebook is proving quite the contender in terms of subscribers. Rivals against Twitter, YouTube and MySpace, Mark Zuckerberg‘s site now sees a whooping 600 million active users. For many, the site offers a way to stay in touch with friends and loved ones, get invited to up and coming events, upload photos and of course stay in touch with your friends and loved ones. Accepting or ignoring friend requests couldn’t be easier with just a simple click of a button.

But what happens if the request is from a teacher to student or visa versa, is it a problem, should it be allowed? This very question was asked by the Ontario College of Teachers based in Canada.

A report which was released on Monday clearly advises that teachers can by all means use Facebook but under no circumstances should they have students on their friends list. In a brief statement from Michael Salvatori, the Registrar and CEO of Ontario College he said, “We’re not suggesting teachers shouldn’t use Facebook, but we are suggesting that the private profile that students have and exchanges between teacher and students are not appropriate.”

It was also noted that in the future to avoid any confusion or allegations of any kind, teachers should use official dedicated school pages to engage with their students as well as the use of board emails. Other recommendations of which are listed over at cbc.ca include that teachers should never text students, give out telephone numbers or personal photos and that privacy settings are set on the site.

What are your thoughts on this debate? Are you a teacher, a student or even a parent, what are your feelings towards this?