I was quite incensed this morning when I read this article from CBC News, "Ont. Teachers Being Told Not to Tweet with Students". At first, I was ready to jump down the throat of the Ontario College of Teachers, whom the article states has produced an advisory to their members telling them to "avoid connecting on social media sites."
I quickly hopped over to the Ontario College of Teachers web site to find the report, and was both surprised and relieved by what I read. The report is not advocating "avoidance" of social media in the classroom. In fact, it clearly states otherwise, and advocates use of social media and technology in the classroom - within boundaries.
The report does state some of the risks of misconduct - privacy issues, even criminal and civil legal implications. But it goes on to provide a comprehensive list of great advice and tips on proper use of technology in the classroom.
The OTC even goes a step further, producing this 6 minute video, talking to teachers and experts about the benefits and risks of using social media in the classroom.
As you can see, the media has gotten this story wrong. Whoever is responsible for the article clearly didn't read the report, and simply misinterpreted the last paragraph of the article, which states, "Maintaining professional boundaries in all forms of communication, technology-related or not, is vital to maintaining the public trust and appropriate professional relationships with students."
Let's hope the CBC and other news outlets who have the story wrong post corrections ASAP.
The bottom line is, the OCT is stating that technology, including social media, when used appropriately in the classroom environment, can be very beneficial to both students and teachers.
And they are absolutely right.