Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Friend or Follow: My Rules on Social Networking with Students

Dear Student Who Wants to Follow Me on Twitter:

For as long as my Twitter stream is completely open, you may follow me and I may follow you back. Because everything that is posted on my Twitter account is open to the public, this seems appropriate as a way to have interaction. This type of communication would be similar to if I left a note for you on my classroom door. I will follow back anyone in chorus, and perhaps others with whom I have some sort of cordial relationship. IF the time comes that I choose to make my stream private, I will unfollow and block all students to avoid the look of inappropriateness. Nothing I have on my Twitter stream is inappropriate, but I may grow weary of blocking spammers, at which time, it would not be completely open.

Second, anything you post (in an open account) is visible to the entire world including me. Because I care about you enough to follow what you are saying on Twitter, I will also care enough about you to report any inappropriate behavior that you post. There will be no exceptions to this rule. If you post about a party, expect good conduct investigations at school. Please do not put me in this situation, though it won't be fun for me, I will follow through. Be aware that nothing on the Internet is private and it is not a good idea to post inappropriate behavior. Plus, the reason there are good conduct policies in the first place is to help you avoid things that could hurt you and your reputation.

You should not send me direct messages as I will not respond to them. That is the only non-publicly visible part of Twitter and I want to avoid any appearance of impropriety or favoritism.

If you are interested in 'friending' me on Facebook, you will have to wait until after you graduate. I have a very closed network on Facebook and have everything set to 'friend only', so it lacks the openness I would need to communicate with current students.

I love my job and my students. I enjoy the opportunities this provides for us to have a richer experience in the classroom. However, I wanted to make you aware of where I stand on some key issues.


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