Seriously, STOP Blocking & Banning for Educators!
I am often asked the following question:
Stop blaming the Technology
Facebook does not cause bullying. If you have a bullying problem in your school, that is a culture problem and all of the blocking in the world isn't going to make it better. Blaming the technology is an excuse for not solving the larger problem. Ignoring the prevalence of student's online lives is much more dangerous than blocking their access during the school day. We should be modeling and teaching digital responsibility in a safe environment where students can see that digital tools are not simply for entertainment but can be used professionally to expand their knowledge and create a digital footprint that will not come back to kick them later.
Accept that you are a BYOT school
Your students AND staff are using their own technology at school, whether they are texting within the pocket of their hoody or surreptitiously in the bathroom between classes, they are bringing their own devices and they are using them. I have witnessed so many cases of teachers asking children to break the "no cell phone" policy. When a site is blocked on the school computers, teachers simply look the other way so students can access the needed information via their own cell phones.
Social Media IS a part of the "real world"
Educators are very fond of telling kids what the "real world" is like. Pretending that sites like Twitter & Facebook don't exist while students are at school is simply a denial that the real world exists inside your school. Students will be googled by their future (and current) employers.( Every mom I know googles potential babysitters and if they see a Facebook page that looks remotely irresponsible, that sitter will NOT be allowed in the house!) For the most part students don't have any idea that their tweets are being housed in the Library of Congress for all of eternity. We teach students about sex ed, stranger danger, drugs & alcohol, texting & driving why would we not teach them about social media, both the good and the bad?
Great things happen when students & teachers get connected
Take steps to make changes