Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Teachers union warns against using social networking sites

I just read an interesting article in the eSchool News about the Ohio Education Association (OEA) recommending that teachers not use social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook.

“OEA advises members not to join [these sites], and for existing users to complete the steps involved in removing their profiles. While this advice might seem extreme, the dangers of participating in these two sites outweigh the benefits.”

What's even more interesting is what the Columbus Dispatch found in their investigation into the profiles of at least 3 teachers. It's obvious that these (and probably other) teachers are using the social networking sites inappropriately. The OEA sent it's memo to teachers just 2 days after the Columbus Dispatch started its investigation. You can read the social networking article, "Teachers' saucy Web profiles risk jobs," here.

As James Miller, director of the Office of Professional Conduct at the Ohio Department of Education, says about the teacher profiles, “It’s their right to have it up. But I’d make sure it’s appropriate for my students to look at.”

I have spoken out many times on this blog for the need to educate students on Internet safety, including the do's and don'ts of social networking. Apparently, many teachers could use a little training themselves! I just don't get it. What are they thinking?

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