Facebook and Privacy in Education Fabulous Three 1
Introduction In our presentation, we aim to discuss the issues surrounding the use of Facebook in education. In particular, it is about the ways in which the line can be blurred, and how the use of this social networking site can potentially lead to an invasion of privacy. 2
Relationship between teachers and students. Allows student into teachers personal life Students and teachers are now “Friends.” instead of professional relationships. Students can see the unprofessional side of teachers. Teachers are exposed to a higher level of the students emotions and recreational activity. 3
Relationship between teachers and students- Informalities. Teachers and student can use Facebook IM to communicate. Students can now see the social life of the teacher and matters that may be inappropriate. Teachers can see what other students are doing due to “friends of friends.” 4
Issues that may arise. “The problem for a teacher can be that they form a close relationship of a platonic nature that unfortunately can get misinterpreted.” WA Council of State School Organisations president Rob Fry. Teachers receiving inappropriate messages from students. Teachers and students seeing inappropriate photos of each other. (e.g. Alcohol use) 5
Example of Government intervention to attempt to prevent these issues The following brief video outlines the steps that the QLD government has taken to stamp out any inappropriate conduct. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/919716/teacher-student-facebook-contact-banned http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dvd9H7FOvII 6
Teachers’ professional conduct is characterised by the quality of the relationships they have with their students, their students’ parents (guardians and caregivers), families and communities and their colleagues.
PRINCIPLE 1.2: Respect a student’s privacy in sensitive matters, such as health or family problems, and only reveal confidential matters when appropriate. That is:
if the student has consented to the information being used in a certain way to prevent or lessen a serious threat to life, health, safety or welfare of a person (including the student) as part of an investigation into unlawful activity if the disclosure is required or mandated by law to prevent a crime or enforce the law refrain from discussing students’ personal problems in situations where the information 7
Duty of Care continued. PRINCIPLE 1.4: TEACHERS MAINTAIN OBJECTIVITY IN THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH STUDENTS In their professional role, teachers do not behave as a friend or a parent. PRINCIPLE 1.5: TEACHERS ARE ALWAYS IN A PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STUDENTS IN THEIR SCHOOL, WHETHER AT SCHOOL OR NOT Teachers hold a unique position of influence and trust that should not be violated or compromised. They exercise their responsibilities in ways that recognise that there are limits or boundaries to their relationships with students. The following examples outline some of those limits. A professional relationship will be violated if a teacher: has a sexual relationship with a student uses sexual innuendo or inappropriate language and/or material with students touches a student without a valid reason holds conversations of a personal nature or has contact with a student via written or electronic means including email, letters, telephone, text messages or chat lines, without a valid context accepts gifts, which could be reasonably perceived as being used to influence them, from students or their parents. A professional relationship may be compromised if a teacher: attends parties or socialises with students invites a student or students back to their home, particularly if no-one else is present. 8
“Everyone” Privacy Setting. Information set to “everyone” is publicly available information, may be accessed by everyone on the Internet (including people not logged into Facebook), is subject to indexing by third party search engines, may be associated with you outside of Facebook (such as when you visit other sites on the internet), and may be imported and exported by us and others without privacy limitations.
Exporting Information. You (and those you make your information available to) may use tools like RSS feeds, mobile phone address books, or copy and paste functions, to capture and export information from Facebook, including your information and information about you.
We generally limit search engines’ access to our site. We may allow them to access information set to the “everyone” setting and your public search listing (but you can turn off your public search listing in your privacy settings).
We cannot control the actions of other users with whom you share your information. We cannot guarantee that only authorized persons will view your information. We cannot ensure that information you share on Facebook will not become publicly available. We are not responsible for third party circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures on Facebook.
While we have discussed Facebook as a potentially powerful and dangerous tool, it must be noted that Facebook can also serve as a vital tool in business promotion. Some ways in which Facebook can be useful within a business are:
Reach a large demographic. Post upcoming news and events. Promote business and provide information about the business to potential clients. Share useful articles and links to presentation and valuable resources that interest customers and prospects on your wall, to establish credibility. Research prospects before meeting or contacting them. Expanding network of contacts. Find experts in your field and invite them as a guest blogger on your blog or speaker at your event. Share survey or research data to gain credibility. Buy Facebook ads to target exact audience. http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/07/21/32-ways-to-use-facebook-for-business/ 10
While the aforementioned reasons may be enough of a reason to consider Facebook a valuable tool to use within or to promote a business, there are also reasons in the ‘against’ column. Just a few of these reasons are:
Lost Productivity. Viruses. Using Facebook in hiring decisions, potential for manager to see posts you would rather they don’t see. Public forum. Statements made online can be detrimental to business and result in sackings etc. Data mining – ability to sell private data or information to companies. 11
In addition to the risk to the school as a business, the use of Facebook also increases the risk to the reputations of teachers.
For example, earlier this year, students in a school in North Albany created a Facebook group in which they made disparaging remarks about numerous teachers. These were highly offensive and aimed directly at individuals. Over 200 hundred students joined this group, which attracted media attention.
This kind of publicity is harmful not only to the teachers in question, but also to the school as a business as previously mentioned.
affect on younger/older siblings Siblings may feel awkward at school May feel their grades are being affected May feel left out May know of a situation or problem that is not appropriate but may be afraid to speak up or have the opposite affect where a student may tell and exaggerate a story causing a teacher to lose their job or go to prison 14
standard of work & attendance at school May feel scared of bullying at school if other children find out Students may wag class to avoid interaction full stop Students are constantly trying to fit in with their peers, this may have an affect on their self esteem Cyber bulling 15
The following article describes a healthy student-parent-teacher relationship Fostering Successful Parent-Teacher Relationships, By Natalie Schwartz 16
Effects on parents Stress levels for parents when they are not with their children After many student/teacher relationships in the news parents could worry about what is really going on in their child’s life Motives of the teacher/student/s involved, see article below Below is an extract from an online article called: Teachers friending students on Facebook - it's happening Written by Denis Masseni | November 13th 2009 A teacher asks a student to become their Facebook friend http://digitalministry.com/AU/articles/944/Teachers+friending+students+on+facebook+it's+happening 17
recap Facebook, like other social media, has the potential to blur the line of appropriateness within the school community. Teachers may become more like “friends.” This can lead to innappropriate conduct, which may be damaging to all parties. This can also negatively affect the school as a business, as well as teacher’s reputations. 18
Final thought Facebook, as well as other social media are becoming increasingly popular, and as we have discussed, can be a valuable tool within businesses such as schools. All users need to be aware of security measures, which they can implement to protect themselves from a possible breach of privacy. 19