Ontario College of Teachers Warns Against Student Friends on Facebook or Twitter
Ontario’s teachers have been warned not to like, friend, poke, or follow students. The Ontario College of Teachers released their official Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media guidelines.
The document sets steadfast guidelines for how teachers interact with their students on computers and mobile devices. It defines social media sites as “Examples include, but are not limited to, sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, Picasa and MySpace.”
Teachers are cautioned that adding or friending any of their students can be dangerous and that, “Even the most innocent actions can be easily misconstrued or manipulated.”
It also makes recommendations such as:
- Avoid any friendship requests from students, and don’t send any
- Use a dedicated webpage for class interaction, not a personal profile
- Don’t exchange private texts, phone numbers, email addresses or photos with students
- Manage your privacy and security settings on all social media sites
- Monitor all of your content and be mindful of what others post to your accounts
- Ask friends not to tag you in any photos or videos without permission. Remove anything that is inappropriate.
- Avoid slamming your students, colleagues, employer or others within the school community
- Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated postings