Trend Watch: Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook & Twitter Friendships [PODCAST]

FacebookForEducators When the tornado devastated the town of Joplin Missouri, teachers turned to Facebook to help locate students. A new measure could make that a bit more complicated.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently signed a bill into law that would ban exclusive contact on social networking sites between teachers and students. Senate Bill 54 passed with unanimous support.

A small part of the wide-ranging SB54, makes it illegal for teachers to be "friends" with students on any social networking site that allows private communication.

That means teachers and students can't be friends on Facebook or can't follow each other on Twitter for example.

It was meant to prevent teachers from developing inappropriate relationships with their students. But to use Facebook parlance, not everyone is clicking the like button.

NPR's All Things Considered's Michele Norris spoke to an eighth grade teacher from Joplin, Mo., who opposes the new law. Randy Turner, who teaches English, said as teachers your job is to reach out to students and that means going where they are and now a days students have shunned e-mail and are using social networking sites to communicate.

But Turner argues instead of protecting children, this new law may be hurting them. "We may be preventing them from talking to the very people who may be able to help," he said.

Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook Friendship by barkingrobot


Related Links

Exchange 2.0: The Teacher's Guide to International Collaboration

image from The Teacher's Guide to International Collaboration was developed to help teachers use the Internet to "reach out" globally. 

In his address to the Council on Foreign Relations in May 2010, Secretary Arne Duncan stated:

We must improve language learning and international education at all levels if our nation is to continue to lead in the global economy to help bring security and stability to the world and to build stronger and more productive ties with our neighbors….We have never been more aware of the value of a multiliterate, multilingual society, a society that can appreciate all that makes other cultures and nations distinctive, even as it embraces all that they have in common.”

This Guide has been prepared as part of the Department of Education's effort to expand global awareness through collaboration between students and teachers in the US with their peers around the world.  

On these pages, teachers will find many projects and suggestions to begin or expand classroom projects that reach across the globe and enable students to learn WITH the world, as well as about it.

In each section of this Guide we have also provided links to elementary, middle and high school projects and links to organizations that are involved in international education via the Internet and Web 2.0 tools.

Facebook DC Live: Facebook for Educators

FacebookDC Join Linda Fogg Phillips, co-author (along with myself and BJ Fogg) of the new Facebook for Educators guide, Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, and other panelists for a discussion of how teachers and administrators can connect safely and appropriately with students on Facebook and other social media sites to extend learning outside the classroom.

Facebook will also discuss some recent efforts both on and off of Facebook to thank teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.

To watch at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, click the "FB DC Live" navigation link on or go directly to:

Ask questions for our guests on the wall of this event.

Trend Watch: Australian Teachers Granted Permission to Use Facebook in the Classroom

FacebookForEducators Yesterday the NSW Teachers Federation in Australia announced that public school teachers have been granted permission to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media in the classroom. Students are still blocked.

A Department of Education spokeswoman said the change would help improve communication between schools and their communities. It would also give staff a ''greater understanding of technology being used by students.'' 

The president of the NSW Teachers Federation, Bob Lipscombe, cautioned teachers to take care about who they became ''friends'' with on Facebook to ensure their professionalism was not compromised. He reminded teachers that any information they posted would be imprinted in the public domain.

But with careful use, social media should be embraced as ''part of the 21st century and something students and teachers need to be aware of.''

The Department of Education has developed a social media policy in consultation with school principals and teacher groups. The policy, which is available on the department's website, has been distributed to all public schools. The guidelines advise teachers to be honest, polite and considerate and to use common sense.

Social Media Guidelines for Teacher

Facebook Safety & Security Center Update [VIDEO] Yesterday Facebook held a live discussion that highlighted the tools that Facebook offers parents, teachers and kids to protect themselves online.

The highlight of the event was the expansion of the Facebook Safety Center. The new Facebook Safety Center is full of multimedia and other resources with domain specific sections for Law Enforcement, Parents, Teachers and Teens.

Watch live streaming video from facebookeducation at


The other big news was an official announcement from Facebook about the 'Facebook for Educators' handbook that was co-written by Linda Fogg-Phillips, BJ Fogg and myself.

Linda also joined the live event to talk about teachers and Facebook. We are looking forward to getting this document to you and hearing your feedback! So stay tuned!

Safety on Facebook

Facebook Safety Live Event: Keeping Kids Safe Online

Facebook.safetyOn Tuesday, April 19 (9:30 am PST) Facebook Live will host a live discussion focused on Facebook’s latest efforts to keep people safe online. This is going to be a great event that highlights the tools that Facebook offers parents, teachers and kids to protect themselevs online.

Hear from a members of the Facebook Safety Team and safety educators Larry Magid, Co-director of, and Linda Fogg Phillips, Co-Author of Facebook for Parents and Facebook for Educators.

The event will also highlight several new initatives (nope, I can't tell you! But they are really slick!) including the project that I've been working on Facebook for Educators.

A few months ago Facebook asked BJ Fogg, Director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University and Linda Fogg-Phillips, author of Facebook for Parents and an expert on parenting in the digital age and myself to collaborate on the Facebook for Educators project.

You'll hear more about that during the Facebook Safety event on Tuesday, but it's been a really exciting project to work on.

The team at Facebook are really committed to providing everyone, but especially teens and young adults, with a safe and secure experience when they are interacting on the world's biggest social network.

So be sure to tune in on Tuesday to get the latest news on Facebook's efforts to keep everyone safe online.

Related: Facebook Live: White House Conference on Bullying

Case Study: 5 Social Tools In Practice at Harvard

image from In this SlideShare presentation from SXSW 2011, Chris Traganos (@ctraganos) of the Harvard Web Working Group (@harvardwww) shares a case study of the many ways in which Harvard University uses various types of social media to connect, engage and inform students, faculty and alumni.

It's a very well done presentation and worth taking the time to learn what has worked for Harvard University and then looking at your own social strategy and finding ways to integrate some of the best practices contained in this presentation. Thanks for sharing Chris!

Facebook Live Event: White House Conference on Bullying Prevention

image from On Thursday, the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention will bring together communities from across the nation who have been affected by bullying as well as those who are taking action to address it.

Every day, thousands of kids, teens, and young adults around the country are bullied both online and offline. Estimates are that nearly one-third of all school-aged children are bullied each school year - upwards of 13 million students.

Students involved in bullying are more likely to have challenges in school, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and to have health and mental health issues. If we fail to address bullying we put ourselves at a disadvantage for increasing academic achievement and making sure all of our students are college and career ready.

As part of the agenda, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett will host a policy panel with issue experts including Catherine Bradshaw of Johns Hopkins University, George Sugai from the University of Connecticut, Susan Swearer-Napolitano from the University of Nebraska, as well as the Cyberbullying Research Center's Justin Patchin.

The White House Conference on Bullying Prevention will be streamed via Facebook Live starting at 12:20pm ET. President and Ms. Obama have also released a video PSA about bullying that was released exclusively on Facebook.


Some of the featured guests include:

• Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan: Joe, a former federal prosecutor and founding member of the Justice Department's Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Units, oversees safety and security for Facebook's more than 500 million active users.

• Rosalind Wiseman: Rosalind is an internationally recognized expert on teens, parenting and bullying. Her book Queen Bees and Wannabes, was the basis for the movie Mean Girls, and her follow-up book, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads, addresses the social hierarchies and conflicts among parents.

• Togetherville Founder Mandeep Dhillon: Mandeep is the founder of Togetherville, a social networking community designed to connect kids, friends and families. Mandeep is one of the leading voices and authorities on pre-tween and tweens and the social web.

MTV Vice President of Public Affairs Jason Rzepka: Jason is responsible for marshaling the network’s forces to engage and activate America’s youth on the biggest challenges facing their generation.

Related: Social Networking Safety & Privacy Tips for Parents, Teachers & Kids

When snow hit, one American U class moved to Facebook

Networking_T "Setting up this Facebook page was one of the first things I did after I created my spring syllabus for this class, International Public Relations. It wasn't my idea; it was something I learned from students and junior colleagues when I returned from sabbatical.

After eight months of being in research la-la land, stepping back onto a high-speed, wi-fi campus was like moving from the cave wall paintings to, well, digital walls.

I attended a one-day university-sponsored teaching symposium and zeroed in on technology sessions to get myself up to speed. The line that really stuck with me was: "If you want to fish, go where the fish are." The fish, is seems, were all on Facebook, and I wanted to cast my net."


Pearson Learning Study: Social Media in Higher Education [PRESO]

General Social Media Stats From the Pearson Study


  • There are over 500 million users on Facebook with over 50% logging in at least once per day.
  • In the United States alone there are, as of February 2010, 108 million users at a growth rate of around 5 million new users per month. That is a 35% penetration rate of the total US population.
  • The average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook.


  • At the end of 2009 Twitter had approximately 75 million active users with a growth rate in Q4 of between 6-8 million new users per month.
  • There are over 50 million tweets per day as of March 2010. This is up from 3 million tweets per day in March 2008.


  • On YouTube alone, there are over 1 billion views per day.
  • There are 20 hours of video uploaded every minute. That’s the equivalent of 130,000 full-length Hollywood movie releases every single week.
  • YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world.
  • Approximately 82% of Internet users in the USA view videos online.


  • There are over 60 million registered users on LinkedIn with about 100,000 new users per week.


  • There are approximately 126 million blogs as tracked by BlogPulse.

Trend Watch: Parents Want to use Facebook to Connect with Teachers

Facebook A recent poll conducted by YouGov found that 58% of teachers would like parents to help more with their child’s learning and more than one-third of parents want to be more involved in the youngster’s schooling.

But with half of mothers and fathers only seeing their child’s teacher once a term, parents and staff both said they wanted more opportunities to discuss feedback about pupils in less formal situations than at parents’ evenings.

The study also found that one in five parents in Glasgow wants to be able to contact their child’s teachers through social networking sites such as Facebook.

Two-thirds of mothers and fathers said email would be a good way to discuss any issues, while 22% said they would like to be able to text or swap messages over the internet.


Social Learning: Teachers Using Facebook Groups to Connect With Parents

Facebook.button.round When it comes to classroom management and keeping parents informed, a lot of teachers are now using Facebook Group as an effective tool for classroom management. In the past they might have sent home a flyer with students', but it usually got lost or vanished in thin air.

Now, since most parents are one of the 500 million people on Facebook, teachers are finding Facebook Groups to be an effective and engaging way to get parents more involved in their kids' classroom.

In this news clip from CNN, teachers in Nebraska explain how they use Facebook in their classroom to help keep both parents informed and kids engaged in the curriculum. There are some really great ideas here, well worth checking out.


Related: Facebook and Social Media in Schools