Social media and the hype around it have been a major topic of conversation within the backdrop of professionals lives. Will this comment I post be frowned upon? Is it okay to add this picture to Facebook? Would my manager be alright with the content of this tweet?
As professionals we are constantly having to double check on what impact our online actions could have on our own personal and professional lives. There is a constant reminder to consider the following:
• Will it reflect poorly on you, the school, employer or teaching profession?
• Is the intention to post this comment driven by professional or personal reasons?
• Are you confident that the comment, if accessed by others, would be considered reasonable and appropriate?
With a growing number of children being on social media websites, and parents being keen to have a snoop at the person who is educating their child each day, there is a higher demand for privacy settings online. Public trust in a teacher is key for a good, working relationship with others and with different upbringings for people, there can be significant differences in what is deemed acceptable or not.
As technology is becoming more and more present within school settings, it is vital that boundaries are set in regards to what is acceptable for a pupil/staff online relationship. This is why a safety barrier can be to only communicate through websites such as GLOW, or official email addresses for the school. Communicating through these tools allows for clear boundaries, and can mean that there is less risk of people forgetting the boundaries of pupil/staff.
Whilst social media and the use of the internet can help children’s education thrive, there are also barriers which come from the use of it. Many people will post comments, tweets, pictures etc. without realising the full implications of what they have done. It can often be forgotten that even once a post or picture has been deleted, the file information is archived on to the website and is never fully gone. This is why there should never be any derogatory comments made in regards to pupils, parents or colleagues, which can easily be done whilst venting comments on sites such as Twitter or Facebook, and may lead to a concern over the teacher’s fitness to teach.
On the other hand, social media and the internet also benefits staff, parents and children. It allows for access to new teaching materials and assignments, whilst also being able to communicate with a huge host of other professionals in a real-time manner and discuss subjects.