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The disadvantage of Always (The blur - part 2)
An astute reader recently commented “It is just so dangerous to allow students to invade or break the professional relationship that an educator has with his or her students.”. As a teacher of ten years, I heartily agree. Our school has a policy that all teachers should only use school email for communication with students. I’ve seen teachers run into trouble on facebook - when they post pictures or stories meant for friends, and not for students! I think this could be solved by setting up groups for friends on facebook, so if I post a picture or notice, I can decide which groups get to see that particular item.
Personally, I use facebook for light-weight, personal announcements to friends and colleagues. I use twitter as a personal learning tool. It bears saying, though, that social networks are glomming together - the “always on, always present, always connected” world isn’t far away. Neal Stephenson coined a nice word for this: the metaverse.
As a last point, I was teaching some teachers about blackboard. I mentioned one advantage of online learning is teachers can respond to student queries over the weekend or in the evening. A teacher became frustrated, and said they liked their weekends to themselves! Hard to argue with the idea of free time.