Friday, August 19, 2016

Should Educators Use Social Media to Check on Students? #No #135

It is so easy to check up on anyone on the World Wide Web - if we are not there yet we must be close to a time when it will be impossible to Google someone's name and get zero results. When I Google my own name (enclosed in inverted commas for exact matches) there are 82,600 results:

Of course not all these are linked to me - the 27th item is an Obituary for Eugene O'Loughlin! (This was an 83-year old priest with whom I shared a common name who died in South Buffalo on 18th April 2004).

The point about above is that I'm certain I can access information about any student online should I choose to do so. The question now is - should I? Before anyone gets in a knot about this, I don't check students on-line. When they graduate I connect to many of them on LinkedIn where I can enjoy seeing them getting jobs and seeing notices of awards and promotions. But while they are at College, in my view their social media details should be off limits. Apart from privacy issues, it is just not cool to do this. As a warning, check out this social media horror story on The Daily Dot as a reminder that teachers should not stalk their students. 

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