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Am I the only tech teacher out there who thinks that it’s a bad idea for kids to blog, tweet, snapchat, or facespace their coursework?

How is it that I am no longer allowed to post a student’s grade on the wall for the class to see, yet promote them to post their work on a blog for the World to see? Technology is great and I love it, but since when did that mean that I have to incorporate social media into the atmosphere in order to be relevant? Students need space, they need privacy, some don’t even know what it is!

Parents are posting naked baby pictures on the internet before kids even know what the word privacy means. We are not even asking kids if they want their information on the internet. We are taking the right’s of kids away when we make this choice for them. I am not a proponent of using Facebook and Twitter in the classroom as a collaboration tool. I use an LMS called Schoology, a closed-circuit and monitored portal that only my students have access to. If they need to ask me a question, they can do it in a private environment where the virtual class walls are smaller than the infinite that is the World Wide Web.

I think that it is invasive to suggest that a student create a Twitter account, use their Apple iD to log on to a school’s iPad, or have them post a personal response on a blog. It is my belief that teachers have no right to expect that a student to do this.  I myself was recently offended when a tech course required me to create a Twitter account. Aside from my initial huffing and puffing, I went ahead with the request and within seconds another student had discovered my site and followed me, before I could even look at the privacy options! Needless to say, within another sixty seconds, I deactivated my account.

I am a proponent of needing to have separation between work, school, and one’s private life. I understand that the World students live in is going to increasingly ask them to work on their free hour and in between working out and going to the supermarket, but I struggle to ask my students to do it, especially if they are not yet being paid to make that decision for themselves. I believe that students need and appreciate space and privacy even if they don’t know it. Hopefully in turn, they will also learn to appreciate others’.

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