Assessment – Saco

November 13th, 2011

In your content area groups:

  1. Decide on a topic and write a brief prompt that students will respond to on a blog, wiki, discussion board, etc.
  2. Determine five criteria for high-quality work. Write the criteria in the form of statements that would appear in a rubric.
  3. Write some comment starters that students can use when giving each other feedback on their posts.
  1. Aleijonguth
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:18 | #1

    I agree, use the technology students are using to connect with the world. However I would create a new facebook account that would be my u201cprofessionalu201d teacher account. I would never friend them using my u201cpersonalu201d facebook account. I am a firm believer in keeping your professional life separate from your personal life.

    • Seth
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:57 | #2

      Aleijonguth: you are off to a good start. More detail in support of your opening is needed.

  2. Dcarr
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:19 | #3

    “As part of common practice today, teachers should friend their students on Facebook.”nnWe think that teachers and students are not peers, equals, or in other ways friends or “Facebook friends”. Such a relationship is easily construed as inappropriate and blurs the lines of the teacher-student relationship. A person’s natural response online is to have a false sense of bravado and perhaps say things they may not otherwise say directly to the person. The disconnect is worrisome, because it removes the humanity of a comment from a conversation. The context is changed significantly, and not necessarily for the better. However, it seems not inappropriate to ‘friend’ a former, graduated, adult student at the teacher’s discretion, as long as the teacher is aware that any young person that they friend is likely to have Facebook connnections with current students. All in all, the teacher who friends former students will always need to be aware of their Facebook “life”.

    • Seth
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:54 | #4

      Dcarr: your strong opinion is evident throughout this post, and if you give clear reasons to support your exemplary introduction. However, it is lacking a concise conclusion.

  3. Jsheltra
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:23 | #5

    ntThe first answer would be no. However, there are arguments for some social collaboration. There can be both personal Facebook pages as well as professional Facebook pages. There could be great potential with creating a teacher page. However, there are some things that teachers just don’t need to know about their students, and vice versa. The line is blurry for some people. A “TeachBook” setup would be far more beneficial. However, students are so tuned into Facebook, it is a hard sell to switch applications. The time spent on Facebook is not often valuable time. Why do kids Facebook when they are right next to each other rather than interact face to face. Do we really want to know what students are doing every minute of everyday? Also, why open up Slots, Farmville and other game notices?

    • November 14th, 2011 at 14:44 | #6

      I agree with your statement of keeping pages seperate. I actually do exactly this. I have an Educator account for my students, student senate, and drama program. Then I have a personal account for friends, family and personal relationships. The diffictult part is keeping them seperate; explaining to friends why I can’t add them to one account but not another. Your comment about the “Bluring Lines,” is due to the need for clearity. Maybe having a conversation with someone who understands Facebook would help to shapen those lines. You can aways hide student post.

    • Alison
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:51 | #7

      Your conclusion is clear and is a strong reason for saying no to facebook . No one else mentioned the extra baggage that comes along with it.

  4. November 14th, 2011 at 14:23 | #8

    In an ideal world, we are all equal and there would not be any issues around teachers friending their students on Facebook. The reality is, society has clearly defined lines between students and their teachers and those relationships should be clearly defined. Facebook can blur those lines to a point where relationships are no longer clearly defined within the room or outside of the classroom. Perhaps the statement should be re-worded so that teachers and their students interact in a social networking environment. For example, Edmodo provides the benefits of Facebook and an interface that is similar but keeps the relationship in a professional manner where students are not exposed to the outside world of the teacher and students are not exposing their digital lives to their teachers. Digital tools are evolving where the social networking relationships can be clearly defined. Google+ allows users to group people into circles where conversations can be limited and not exposing their conversations and interactions for all to see.

    • SMWest1
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:30 | #9

      “Facebook can blur those lines to a point where relationships are no longer clearly defined within the room or outside of the classroom.” nVery powerful statement that I agree with very much. This is an excellent thesis from which a very intense composition could be written in response to this prompt. Very nicely worded.

    • Dstearns
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:31 | #10

      Your introduction is engaging and conveys the main idea of your post. Very nice sequencing and a great idea in conclusion. I will have to check out Edmondo.

    • November 14th, 2011 at 14:35 | #11

      The above posting was also written by Ryan Palmer

    • Ryan Palmer
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:37 | #12

      Did you write this by yourself, or did you get help from someone?

    • November 14th, 2011 at 14:47 | #13

      Your ideas and information are placed in a logical order, but the way in which they are organized sometimes makes the writing less interesting. You could make a more clear arguement by taking a sound position with a yes or no.

    • Teri Caouette
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:56 | #14

      I like your examples of using Edmodo and Google + as ways that could be used by teachers and students to interact.

  5. SMWest1
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:25 | #15

    Teachers should absolutely be encouraged to friend students on Facebook. There should be specific guidelines to do this appropriately. However, it should be with a separate account as I do not believe in blending personal and professional activities. It would therefore be the students’ choice to use their own account or to create a new school-use account. There are tools on Facebook such as discussion boards, video and audio posting and private messaging that can all be used for both fun and assessment purposes. This is just an idealistic overview, however…nnOn the flip side, there are tools available elsewhere, such as email,, and other free public-use forums that carry less risk. By risk, we mean the sharing of personal information with students. Backchannel chats are an excellent way to have a discussion about a topic that is real-time and serves a similar purpose to Facebook. There is also the question of appropriate use. What is considered “appropriate” on Facebook can be seen as a fast-moving target in that one could find themselves in an uncomfortable situation (e.g., a comment made to another student). How much time would be spent in the classroom teaching/handling the accountability piece versus the actual educational use? How much of the learning would be off topic as opposed to on-target? It is almost too big to manage…and distracting! Finding other sites, like, let the teacher hone in the task at hand and goals at hand.

    • Olga
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:47 | #16

      Your introduction suggests that you encourage teachers being friends with students on Facebook, but the rest of the post dissuades the reader from that. You provide plenty of arguments to the contrary and solid, better fitted alternatives. It may be more practical to rephrase the introduction as it doesn’t appear to be your conviction.

    • Carrie
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:54 | #17

      Your introduction sets the stage for the rest of your post. The order of your details helps your readers stay interested, and your conclusion is clear.

    • ann
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:56 | #18

      I like that you offer other formats to interact with students.

  6. Jrusso
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:28 | #19

    We agree that students should not be friends with teachers on Facebook because teachers private lives & activities need not be available for students to view. nConcerns that inappropriate behavior by students outside of school should be the responsibility of the parent to monitor. nAt what point is it the teacher’s responsibility to report suspected illegal activities.nTeachers need to meet the students were they are (social media), but another site devoted to class activities should be accessible.

  7. Olga and Karen
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:30 | #20

    Itu2019s not common practice now, thatu2019s for sure. Should it be?nThere are not many teachers who are friends with their students on Facebook. in fact, in a lot of school districts, teachers are explicitly banned from befriending students.nItu2019s typical and more common for people to have friends among their peers. People feel more comfortable sharing events and news with a definite, often limited and very close audience.nThere are friends, there are families, and we filter the information according to its purpose. There are also colleagues and acquaintances, with whom we have fewer things in common. Do we think itu2019s common practice to give away oneu2019s home number to students? Is it common to hang out with students during lunch?nItu2019s more practical to set up a page dedicated to a cause or class, and have students interact via that page. Its purpose, rules, and audience are clearly defined.nDo kids enjoy including adults in their clout? Do they treat their own parents as worthy of being their friends? Would there be some extra critique because adults may consider some things inappropriate or poor judgment? Being friendly, open and supportive doesnu2019t mean you have to be friends on Facebook, and teachers can be friendly without giving up their personal life completely.

    • meg Fox
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:49 | #21

      The first statement is vague and doesn’t let the reader know what the topic is. If I wasn’t aware of the prompt, I wouldn’t know what you were responding to.

  8. meg Fox
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:31 | #22

    Students should be friends with Ms. Fox History teacher, but not Meg Fox. Students have a natural connection to the Internet, considering that most of them are natural born digital citizens. As teachers, we should meet them where they are at; we should encourage and foster the proper use of technology, including social media, so that they can become better digital citizens. Teachers should be models in the proper ways to interact with peers and adults in the sometimes seemingly anonymous world of the Internet. We have the opportunity to teach them proper u201cnetiquetteu201d and learn the proper way to utilize the Internet and social media in constructive and efficient ways, and not just playing Angry Birds.nnHowever, just as I would not hang out with my students outside of school, unless I have a significant personal connection to them (such as family friends with their parents), its not appropriate to friend students who are still attending school.

    • SMWest1
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:38 | #23

      The first statement of your response is particularly engaging and summarizes my thoughts on the topic quite nicely! Very well-versed and explained. The order of your details helps the reader stay interested as well. I also like how you present the opportunities that exist in front of us to teach responsibility. :-)

    • November 14th, 2011 at 14:42 | #24

      Your introductory sentence is very engaging to a reader. This is a nice way to start off your post.

    • Jwebber
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:45 | #25

      While your initial argument is well-articulated, it seems as though your closing argument contradicts it. Could you clarify for me whether or not you believe students that are currently enrolled in your classes should be your “friends” on Facebook?

    • Erin Davies
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:48 | #26

      I really like the example you gave (“Students should be friends with Ms. Fox History teacher, but not Meg Fox”). That one sentences explains the importance of having two online identities when dealing with students. We already have different identities (we are different at home than in front of the class), so why not apply the same behavior to the online community.

    • ann
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:48 | #27

      so are you for it or against it… not quite sure?n

      • meg Fox
        November 14th, 2011 at 14:55 | #28

        For it professionally, against it personally (I want to have a “Ms. Fox History Page” that is separate from my personal page). :)

    • Seth
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:51 | #29

      Meg: we thought this was an engaging and exemplary post. Your introduction conveys the main idea of your post, your sequencing was logical and helped us stay interested, and your conclusion was strong. Very good!

  9. Jamie
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:36 | #30

    Teacher + Student + Friending u2260 Employment + Privacy nWe do not agree that teachers that as a common practice today teachers should friend their students on Facebook. We feel that doing so would start to blur the lines between school and home for the teacher and may send the wrong message to students. The teacher may also find themselves in an awkward situation in regards to what is posted by students. Additionally there is also the issue of students reading the teachers wall and vice versa that the owner is not directly responsible for. The legal grey area that exists around teachers responsibility to report potentially illegal or dangerous events could put both the teacher and the district in an expensive legal hearing.nThe idea of u201cfriendingu201d a student does not seem to match the idea of the student teacher relationship that should exist in a classroom. Friending would allow a level of access to each others lives that is unnecessary to support the education of the student. If communication and relationship building are the intended outcomes Facebooku2019s environment does not promote that in an appropriate manner. nDepending on the ultimate goal of u201cfriendingu201d a student many alternatives could be used. Blogs, Edmodo, Google Groups, email, etc. are all viable alternatives as are eating lunch with the student, attending extra curricular activities, and chaperoning a dance. n

    • Jrusso
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:41 | #31

      We agree that there are many viable alternatives that are better alternative to Facebook. Our concern is the cultural shift that will need to happen to encourage the use of an additional site set up for classwork/assignments.

      • DH
        November 14th, 2011 at 14:57 | #32

        Although we believe your post is engaging and informative.nBecause of the abbreviated response it is hard to determinenwhere you stand. I do look forward following more of your posts on this topic.n

    • Guest
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:46 | #33

      You have started with an engaging manner, using the equation as part of your introduction. It is important to notice that you used the word “that” redundantly in the first sentence. Can you find a better way to word your introduction?

    • Seth
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:46 | #34

      Jamie: I am confused by your introductory sentence. Being more concise would be less confusing – for example, try “We do not agree that teachers should friend their students on Facebook.”

      • Carrie
        November 14th, 2011 at 15:11 | #35

        I guess math wasn’t your subject.

    • Kelley
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:49 | #36

      Your introduction is very engaging. Your thoughts are well ordered and your position well stated. Alternatives should be explored.

  10. Marilyn and Seth
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:39 | #37

    We donu2019t believe that teachers should friend their students on Facebook. There are other avenues available for conversations to take place between teachers and students, such as educational blogs and discussion boards. We support collaborative use of technology tools, but there are many more appropriate forums for an educational conversation than Facebook. Such social networking sites as edmodo and dweeber, or blogging sites such as WordPress and Blogger, are more suitable sites for teachers to interact and communicate with students digitally. These sites provide a more managed space that can be specific to topics within an educational realm.

    • Jamie
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:54 | #38

      When you wrote “We donu2019t believe that teachers should friend their students on Facebook” instead of explaining your reasons you provided many good alternatives.

  11. Kelleyanncarriejames
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:39 | #39

    nFriending students? Are teachers friends of students? Should they be?nFriending students on Facebook is a controversial issue at all of our schools. Administrators at two of our schools highly discourage this activity and another has a specific policy against it altogether. Personally, we all feel that friending students on Facebook is not a good idea and crosses the student/teacher boundaries. As teachers, we do not feel that students are emotionally equipped to handle this kind of interaction or relationship. The exception would be an account that would be set-up for a particular class, group, or project where the teacheru2019s role is clearly defined. We do feel, however, there are other social networking sites that would be better suited for the educational environment that donu2019t have the friendship stigma attached to it. As professionals in this day and age, it is of utmost importance that there is no questionable interaction with students even is it is on social networking. In some schools, fake accounts have been created for teachers by students who have recruited other students as friends which exploits teachers (who was misrepresented) and students (who were fooled). n

  12. hmanch
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:40 | #40

    Teachers should absolutely not friend their students on Facebook. nnTo friend or not to friend, that is the question. Do you you really want to witness the chatting during class, the photos of students doing drugs or alcohol, harassing messages, and very public displays of affection. Don’t even get us started on the hideous use of language. To friend students is to open a can of worms that is best left unopened.nnFirst of all, teachers are mandated reporters. We are legally obligated to report issues of abuse, breaking the law, and other potentially inappropriate behavior. One may argue that this is a good thing, that teachers can help students out by reporting these things, really, who has time! nnAlso, teachers deserve to have privacy and a life outside of teaching. On our Facebook pages, we explore our identities as bleeding-heart-Tea-Party-hating liberals, stamp collecting ubernerds, or even gushing, doting parents. Frankly, this is embarrassing in a time when we need as much credibility as possible with our students. We do not necessarily want to share our personal predilections with the kids we see in class every day. And, Goddess forbid, kids can see a photo in the wrong context and all will be misconstrued. nnOnce you friend one, you have to friend them all. And really, who needs more friends. We are doing fine on our own, thanks.

    • November 14th, 2011 at 14:43 | #41

      Your opening sentence is very powerful and makes me want to continue reading the rest of your post.

    • Alison
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:58 | #42

      Really nicely written. Very organized, good points, especially the reminder about being mandated reporters.

  13. Erin Davies
    November 14th, 2011 at 14:44 | #43

    NO! They Should not, but maybe they could?nThere are many benefits to using Facebook and other social media with students and being someoneu2019s friend is a great was to deliver information in a format that students can easily understand. However, it isnu2019t something that teachers necessarily should do, but maybe something they could do if the circumstances were correct. IT should be an option, but not a given.nTeachersu2019 personal lives and students personal lives should not be connected. If a teacher wants to create a professional identity on Facebook and use the social media network to deliver information and collaborate on projects it would be appropriate. It would likely be a very efficient and effective to deliver information.n

    • hmanch
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:53 | #44

      Your opening question really gets to the fact that this can be a very gray issue. The rest of your post is logical and well connected to the opening line.

  14. November 14th, 2011 at 14:48 | #45

    This is a general comment for all…are we doing a disservice to our students by promoting a “school” identity vs. a “personal” identity for social networking opportunities?

    • Jsheltra
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:55 | #46

      No. It is part of professionalism. I have a work account for e-mail, and I have a home e-mail account. The two are separate for a reason. I also do not wear the same clothes for work as I do for home. Being able to maintain a professional account for school is a skill students need to explore and master as well!

    • Guest
      November 14th, 2011 at 14:57 | #47

      I don’t think so. My husband works in finance but he does not wear a business suit on the weekends. We all have different behavioral expectations for different situations-church, grandma’s house, the movie theater, a parade. We just have to learn what is acceptable in which situation.

Comments are closed.