Pupils are not your Facebook friends, net privacy expert warns teachers

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Pupils are not your Facebook friends, net privacy expert warns teachers

Post by Guest on Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:59 am

Warning comes amid concerns over blurring of boundaries between school staff's professional and private lives


The NUT has recently issued guidance warning teachers not to befriend pupils on social networking site such as Facebook. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features

Teachers are being warned not to "friend" pupils on Facebook amid concerns over the blurring of boundaries between school staff's professional and private lives.

In a fringe meeting at the National Union of Teachers' annual conference on Sunday, teachers were told that pupils are getting access to potentially embarrassing information about teachers on their Facebook pages, while headteachers and school governors are increasingly using information posted on social networking sites to screen candidates for jobs.

Teachers were also warned about the rise of a new site, Formspring, which enables users to post comments and questions without identifying themselves. Bullying posts appeared on the site before the suicide last year of 17-year-old Alexis Pilkington, from Long Island, New York, though her parents have played down suggestions of a link.

Karl Hopwood, an internet safety consultant and former headteacher, told the NUT fringe meeting: "The line between private life and professional life is blurred now because of social media." He urged the audience to watch for unguarded comments that could have damaging consequences. In one case, Hopwood said, a teacher posted the status update: "OMG must stop pissing about and get my maths boosters planned as I go to teach kids it in about one and a half hours!!!!"

He also gave the example of a deputy head of a school, who found that photographs of him in a Superman outfit were put up on the school's bulletin board. The pictures, taken by a colleague who was a fellow guest at a birthday party, had then spread through his Facebook friendships with pupils, Hopwood said.

The NUT has recently issued guidance warning teachers not to befriend pupils on social networking sites, and to let school management know if they befriend parents or ex-pupils.

Teachers at schools in Kent were advised by the council to close down social networking profiles after a headteacher at a college in Dartford was criticised for posting a photograph with a caption boasting about the size of her breasts.

Hopwood said a headteacher in Wiltshire had banned staff from keeping a Facebook profile, but added: "I don't think that's the way forward." Instead he urged teachers to be more sophisticated in their internet use. "Don't friend pupils on social networking sites. Set up a group to link up with the orchestra or the rugby team."

There is also concern over the misuse of online information by potential employers. In one case, a female teacher was advised by a head to look at her page on a social networking site – where she had a picture of herself balancing a pint glass on her head – after she struggled to find work. After she changed her settings and removed photos she got a job, he said.

The internet safety expert also said that he had been on an interview panel when the chair of governors handed him an envelope of printouts from Google searches of every candidate.

Amanda Brown, NUT assistant secretary for employment, conditions and rights, said there was "definite concern" that there had been an increase in schools looking for information online. In the public sector there are rigorous appointment procedures, she said, adding: "If that's going to be undermined by headteachers and governors going on to Google to see what else they can find then that would be a problem."

An increasing proportion of young children are signed up to social networking sites. Last year, over a third of children aged eight to 12 had a profile on sites such as Facebook, Bebo or MySpace that require users to register as being 13 or over, according to an Ofcom survey. The figure has risen from a quarter in 2009.

A website used by schoolchildren to spread anonymous gossip was closed down earlier this year, after what its owners said was abuse by a "minority of irresponsible people." Little Gossip, which started in November, had been criticised for failing to remove schools from a list of institutions users could gossip about. Hopwood expressed concern about the potential misuse of the Formspring site, which he said had a "much bigger user base" than Little Gossip. He said: "They think they can say anything on Formspring, but their online reputation can be damaged just as quickly as yours or mine can." However he also praised social networking sites as a space for sharing positive information, giving the example of a memorial page for a teacher on Facebook. "Some of the stuff on there was wonderful."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/apr/24/pupils-facebook-friends-net-privacy-teachers


Not exactly the best way to gain respect from your pupils. If I were a teacher there is no way on earth I'd be posting details of my personal life on Facebook. Not that I would anyway, I refuse to join Sad

Facebook, the tool of the devil Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Pupils are not your Facebook friends, net privacy expert warns teachers

Post by victorismyhero on Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:27 pm

Feelthelove wrote:Warning comes amid concerns over blurring of boundaries between school staff's professional and private lives


The NUT has recently issued guidance warning teachers not to befriend pupils on social networking site such as Facebook. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features

Teachers are being warned not to "friend" pupils on Facebook amid concerns over the blurring of boundaries between school staff's professional and private lives.

In a fringe meeting at the National Union of Teachers' annual conference on Sunday, teachers were told that pupils are getting access to potentially embarrassing information about teachers on their Facebook pages, while headteachers and school governors are increasingly using information posted on social networking sites to screen candidates for jobs.

Teachers were also warned about the rise of a new site, Formspring, which enables users to post comments and questions without identifying themselves. Bullying posts appeared on the site before the suicide last year of 17-year-old Alexis Pilkington, from Long Island, New York, though her parents have played down suggestions of a link.

Karl Hopwood, an internet safety consultant and former headteacher, told the NUT fringe meeting: "The line between private life and professional life is blurred now because of social media." He urged the audience to watch for unguarded comments that could have damaging consequences. In one case, Hopwood said, a teacher posted the status update: "OMG must stop pissing about and get my maths boosters planned as I go to teach kids it in about one and a half hours!!!!"

He also gave the example of a deputy head of a school, who found that photographs of him in a Superman outfit were put up on the school's bulletin board. The pictures, taken by a colleague who was a fellow guest at a birthday party, had then spread through his Facebook friendships with pupils, Hopwood said.

The NUT has recently issued guidance warning teachers not to befriend pupils on social networking sites, and to let school management know if they befriend parents or ex-pupils.

Teachers at schools in Kent were advised by the council to close down social networking profiles after a headteacher at a college in Dartford was criticised for posting a photograph with a caption boasting about the size of her breasts.

Hopwood said a headteacher in Wiltshire had banned staff from keeping a Facebook profile, but added: "I don't think that's the way forward." Instead he urged teachers to be more sophisticated in their internet use. "Don't friend pupils on social networking sites. Set up a group to link up with the orchestra or the rugby team."

There is also concern over the misuse of online information by potential employers. In one case, a female teacher was advised by a head to look at her page on a social networking site – where she had a picture of herself balancing a pint glass on her head – after she struggled to find work. After she changed her settings and removed photos she got a job, he said.

The internet safety expert also said that he had been on an interview panel when the chair of governors handed him an envelope of printouts from Google searches of every candidate.

Amanda Brown, NUT assistant secretary for employment, conditions and rights, said there was "definite concern" that there had been an increase in schools looking for information online. In the public sector there are rigorous appointment procedures, she said, adding: "If that's going to be undermined by headteachers and governors going on to Google to see what else they can find then that would be a problem."

An increasing proportion of young children are signed up to social networking sites. Last year, over a third of children aged eight to 12 had a profile on sites such as Facebook, Bebo or MySpace that require users to register as being 13 or over, according to an Ofcom survey. The figure has risen from a quarter in 2009.

A website used by schoolchildren to spread anonymous gossip was closed down earlier this year, after what its owners said was abuse by a "minority of irresponsible people." Little Gossip, which started in November, had been criticised for failing to remove schools from a list of institutions users could gossip about. Hopwood expressed concern about the potential misuse of the Formspring site, which he said had a "much bigger user base" than Little Gossip. He said: "They think they can say anything on Formspring, but their online reputation can be damaged just as quickly as yours or mine can." However he also praised social networking sites as a space for sharing positive information, giving the example of a memorial page for a teacher on Facebook. "Some of the stuff on there was wonderful."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/apr/24/pupils-facebook-friends-net-privacy-teachers


Not exactly the best way to gain respect from your pupils. If I were a teacher there is no way on earth I'd be posting details of my personal life on Facebook. Not that I would anyway, I refuse to join Sad

Facebook, the tool of the devil Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad


Nothing wrong with facebook, the problem as ever is the morons who cant use it sensibly/havnt got the brains not to put every little detail of their lives up there for all to see etc. You dont HAVE to give away every little secret....nor does anyone FORCE you to post embarasing photos of you stone blind drunk with yer bobs out...if you see what i mean.
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Re: Pupils are not your Facebook friends, net privacy expert warns teachers

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:37 am

Teachers aren't terribly bright are they?

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Re: Pupils are not your Facebook friends, net privacy expert warns teachers

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:41 pm

Seren wrote:Teachers aren't terribly bright are they?

So it seems Seren. Kids will be kids and can be cruel as we all know, this kind of information about their teachers on-line must be irresistible.

Of course they will poke fun and pass the information amongst their friends. It's not rocket science is it?


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Teacher branded pupils' coursework as 'sh*te' on Facebook

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:18 am

A teacher has been blasted after posting on Facebook that pupils' coursework was "s**te". The incident highlights the dangers of teachers befriending pupils on the social networking site Facebook after an unnamed teacher from Falmouth, Cornwall, made a blunder online. The teacher was immediately contacted by a pupil who said the comments were a 'bit harsh.'


Below the mark: A teacher branded students' work as 's**te' on Facebook after marking coursework late into the evening

This incident comes in the wake of new guidance issued by the National Union of Teachers warning teachers not to befriend pupils on social networking sites such as Facebook. The union issued the advice after growing concerns over the blurring of boundaries between school staff's professional and private lives.

The teacher, in their first year at Falmouth School, apologised for the incident which they said occurred after several hours of marking Year 11 pupils' coursework during the holidays.

In defence of their actions, the individual involved said, 'I was upset that some of the students had not got the expected marks, and then late into the evening I posted a comment that was naive. I am deeply sorry for any offence caused and I have removed the comment.'

In a fringe meeting at the National Union of Teachers' annual conference last week, the dangers of social networking for teachers were highlighted. The event heard how pupils are getting access to potentially embarrassing information about teachers on their Facebook pages, while headteachers and school governors are increasingly using information posted on social networking sites to, screen candidates for jobs.

Karl Hopwood, an internet safety consultant and former headteacher, spoke of the drawbacks of sites such as Facebook at the National Union of Teachers meeting. 'The line between private life and professional life is blurred now because of social media,' he said. He continued to warn teachers that unguarded comments read by pupils could have long-term damaging consequences.

Recent guidance issued by the National Union of Teachers warns teachers not to befriend pupils on social networking sites, and to let school management know if they befriend parents or former pupils.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1381909/Teacher-branded-pupils-coursework-sh-te-Facebook.html#ixzz1Kza06DPI


Teachers + Facebook = Trouble

Not the brightest of actions. How can this teacher expect her students to respect her, to take her seriously when she posts something like this? Maybe instead of putting her students down she should consider why they didn't achieve the expected marks?

Maybe, just maybe, it might be down to her standard of teaching? No

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Re: Pupils are not your Facebook friends, net privacy expert warns teachers

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:29 am

Maybe the teacher is 's**te' Twisted Evil

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