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Bonnie Sutton

Suspicious Behavior - 1 views

Social Networking Missouri facebook page

started by Bonnie Sutton on 04 Aug 11
  • Bonnie Sutton

    Can teachers be trusted to use social media appropriately? According to a new Missouri law, apparently not. Missouri Senate Bill 54 specifies that, "No teacher shall establish, maintain, or use a nonwork-related internet site which allows exclusive access with a current or former student." Why does the legislature trust teachers in the classroom, but not over the internet?

    The law has some confusing provisions that might easily trip teachers up. For example, a teacher can maintain a facebook page for their class or a book club that students are permitted to "like," but a teacher is not allowed to "friend" those same students. Don't be surprised if Missouri teachers look to avoid the confusion by making their facebook pages a student-free zone.

    In a bit of social media jousting, the Missouri State Teachers Association is using facebook to ask teachers to highlight the educational uses of social media. Looking at the feed, it is clear that the law has generated a great deal of concern. MTSA hopes to have the bill amended within the year. In the meantime, Missouri teachers should be asking what other assumptions the legislature has made about their behavior.

    Graham Drake


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