The Ontario College of Teachers released today, 'Professional Advisory: Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media', advising members to make appropriate use of social media with students.
My fear is that many educators will see this as a warning, granting reasonable grounds to remain on the social media sidelines. The first headline I read, spun the story as a cautionary tale: "College of Teachers says social media the wrong way for teachers to communicate".
Even though the 'professional advisory' is filled with caveats, fear of social media can be allayed, provided teachers use common sense in their e-communication. The news release put it this way:
“Represent yourself in social media the same way you would in person.”
In partial contrast, the OCT also released a companion video that rationalizes why educators should engage the use of modern communication tools:
Take the time to review the document. If you have questions or comments that you'd like to share, I'll be happy to bring them along to one of the regional information sessions taking place in the next few weeks. Are there any other 'appropriate use of social media' documents' I should reference?