Should Social Media Connect Teachers and Students?

Student and Professor

The New York City Department of Education has banned students from interacting with their teachers on social media. The policy pertains to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Flickr. No teacher is allowed to interact with students on these platforms unless it is through a page that is affiliated with the school.

I can understand why a policy like this is necessary, but I also feel that this can quickly get out of hand. The people who get together to create these policies, in my mind, are a bunch of old out-of-touch individuals who probably need to use anti-aging cream. There are obviously a bunch of inappropriate things that could take place by a teacher reaching out to a student through social media, but this new policy also blocks some of the great opportunities that social media provides.

Students will no longer be able to reach out to their teachers and request help on a topic they might not understand. Sometimes students can be embarrassed about asking questions in front of their peers and by now having students only able to interact with their teachers on certain public pages you may be alienating some students who don’t want their questions to be seen.

Social media also allows you to see your teacher as a person, not just someone who stands in front of you during class and lectures. The best teachers are often the ones that the students feel a genuine connection with. Social media is great for fostering relationships and students are probably happy to see some photos on Facebook of their teachers dressed casually and doing normal activities.

I do think there are definitely dangers in students and teachers interacting via social media, but I think the positives can outweigh the negatives. Teachers who are able to form sincere bonds with their students can change those children’s lives forever. I don’t think any department of education should take that away.

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