Assessment – UMaine

November 17th, 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. Mcharette
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:11 | #1

    We think teachers should friend our students but on a separate page rather than a personal one. We still think that it is important to create a presence of authority. We believe teachers can be friendly with students while maintaining a level of professionalism. And FaceBook crosses that line. If a teacher would like to create a page for the classroom, We think that is appropriate and different rules should apply. Kids should be taught the type of language appropriate for this page while another might be appropriate for their personal.n- Donna & Michele

  2. Eryn and Andrea
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:12 | #2

    Friend our students?? We have no desire to friend our students. WE feel that we learn way too much about their social & personal lives. It is too public and students need space to say and do things with friends without an adult judging or monitoring what it is they are saying/doing. It also puts a teacher right in the midst of young arguments when they should be working out problems & issues themselves. ntWe feel it should be an individual choice for teachers with the understanding that information needs to stay positive, professional, friendly for students that they friend. We feel that if teachers decide to use Facebook as a educational tool it should be used as a model for digital citizenship and etiquette.

  3. Sidsel & Erika
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:13 | #3

    The talk in the teachersu2019 lunchroom lately has included mention of studentsu2019 posts on Facebook. Many of these posts, committed to cyberspace outside of school hours, are deeply personal in nature, ill-intentioned, or simply inappropriate for one reason or another. All of this makes me wonder about the benefit of teachers friending students on Facebook. Is there a benefit? nnAs teachers we act the role of nurse, confidant, parent, disciplinarian, or any other role that is required to help children learn. But we are not their peers. Friends are peers with whom you share common interests. Just like a parent is not always a friend, not friending a student on Facebook does not mean we donu2019t care about our students. Both parents and teachers must make decisions not always popular with students. nnFriends often share everything, and todayu2019s Facebook pages are not exception. I would like to maintain a private life, outside of my roles at school. As teachers we are meant to model good decision making, and sometimes I donu2019t always make the best decisions when I am not at school. Even though I learn from my mistakes, I donu2019t want the added pressure of all facets of my life on display for my students. nnAs teachers we should be educating students on how to be good citizens on and off the Internet, but this can be done without adding a classroom of 8th graders to my Friends list. Now, when my students ask if I will be there Facebook friend, I tell them, u201cWhen you graduate from college!u201d Not all college grads are adult-like, but at least they are a bit closer to full maturity than the middle schoolers I teach everyday.n

    • Blocke
      November 18th, 2011 at 14:36 | #4

      When you wrote “Friends are peers with whom you share common interests,” you helped clarify my thoughts. Facebook has really watered down the meaning of the word “friend.”

  4. A and J
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:20 | #5

    nShould teachers friend students?nnI would say no. Many Schools are often very specific in what staff can and can not shared with students. For instance, our code of conduct strictly prohibits this practice and could be grounds for dismissal. The way around this could be to create a class group and use class specific accounts for both students and the teacher that are only used for class assignments. Do we really need to use Facebook? There are already many other options that can accomplish the same thing such as Moodle, an educational blog, edmodo. nnJust because a students use Facebook does not mean that teachers need to use it.

    • Smalone
      November 18th, 2011 at 14:37 | #6

      The essential piece you touched upon here that not many teachers do not think about are the alternative resources available for teachers and professionals to connect with students in a professional manner.

  5. Barbara Greenstone
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:23 | #7

    “Mrs. Greenstone, will you friend me on Facebook?” said one of my former students, now a 40-year-old father of three. This made me wonder about the suitability of connecting with students in social networks. Where do I draw the line between my private and professional live. To what degree does time erase that line?nnThis and other questions have become a significant conundrum for educators around the world. Occasionally we see evidence that supports the benefits of friending while other evidence indicates the opposite. nnPersonally I feel uncomfortable crossing the professional line. I prefer to keep my interactions with my family and friends separate from my interactions with students. There is however, a solution in creating a second account for my professional interactions. nnWith this account I can have all the benefits of social networking without the loss of privacy that I fear. For instance, I could conduct a discussion about the book we are reading in class. I could offer homework assistance over Facebook. I could also collect resources for students and post them on my wall.nnI believe that students need positive relationships with adults and interacting with students in a social network outside of school might be a way to build those relationships.nnnnnnn

    • Anonymous
      November 18th, 2011 at 14:38 | #8

      When you summarized your work, I felt like you were part of our group. Same ideas! But, written as only a Language Arts teacher could, not like our team of the career prep and art teacher.

    • Edixon
      November 18th, 2011 at 14:42 | #9

      Engaging hook! Using the voice of your former student pulls me right into the dialogue and debate.

  6. Woppewall & Locke
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:28 | #10

    As part of common practice today, teachers should friend their students on Facebook. Really? This is a tough question. nnThe existence of an online life certainly goes a long way to blur the lines between our personal and work lives. The current generation doesn’t seem to have separate lives – they have a more wholistic view. They also appear to have no, or little sense of privacy, and much larger “friendship” circles than older generations.nnFriending students has the potential of enhancing communication between the students and the teacher. But how do we define an appropriate relationship with students? In today’s litigious society, are there risks we should be aware of as educators? And who is at risk in such relationships? Does the role of mandatory reporter apply to what may be read on a facebook page? nnAre there positive benefits to be gained by friending students? Perhaps we can help them see when they are making unsafe revelations. But does the fact that we have access to their information give us the responsibility of actively protecting them outside the school day? Does becoming their “friend” make us more liable for what they may do?nnPersonally, I prefer to have my home life and work life separate. I value having a “private” life, even if I have nothing I am ashamed of or wish to hide.

  7. Kevin & Don
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:29 | #11

    Students and teachers should never be “friends” on FaceBook. Teacher’s personal lives should be personal and students have no need to be involved. We believe that there are tools within the FaceBook framework that allow for safe interaction between teachers and groups of students. Teachers can set-up pages that are open to a select group that can be focused on a particular subject. nStudents have a double standard concerning FaceBook. They want to be able to see teacher’s post and to be able to comment on those posts but if a teacher comments on one of their posts, it is “creepy”. The bottom line is, students cannot handle the social responsibility of being friends with a teacher on FaceBook. They need to wait until they have a diploma in hand. nOur district has a written policy against friending students on social networking sites, so the point is moot.

  8. Katie & Chris
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:29 | #12

    Being able to communicate with students is one of the most important aspects of education, and my students prefer to communicate on Facebook. I believe educators should make every attempt to make themselves available to their students, and one way I have done that is by creating a “Mrs. Katie Joyner” facebook page. I maintain another facebook page that is utilized for friends and family, but students are all filtered through the “teacher page”. I use this is a lot of different ways. First and foremost, it is a daily reminder of upcoming assignments and homework. All students that friend me see their assignments posted to their wall, and know they can visit my page if they forgot or were absent. I am passive in the friending process, but I would certainly communicate with parents that my Facebook page exists. If parents have concerns with Facebook, I certainly would respect those views, but it is yet to be an issue. Additionally, it does increase monitoring capabilities. I know if students are using Facebook inappropriately because I can see their activity. It also is an “adult presence” in instances where cyber-bullying are occurring. Weighing the numerous advantages against the few disadvantages, when met with parental support, I believing that friended a student can be a positive thing for both student and teacher.

    • Smichaud
      November 18th, 2011 at 14:35 | #13

      Creating a different facebook page for students is a good idea. I think private and professional lives should be separate, but your solution is a good way of melding the two worlds and an opportunity to model good digital citizenship at the same time.

    • Teri Caouette
      November 18th, 2011 at 14:36 | #14

      You make an interesting comment regarding that “adult presence.” Does that mean that you can see their personal Facebook pages? If it does, would this then cause an issue if you viewed inappropriate activity?nn1

  9. Erick & Debi Lynne
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:31 | #15

    Absolutely not. Not me. Not us. The student/teacher relationship needs to be one of a professional nature. Students take the term “friending” coined by facebook literally and look to you in a manner often inappropriate. The society that we live in today opens up the opportunity for issues, whether real or perceived, from personal contact between students and teachers. The social nature of tools like facebook promote a more casual relationship and though relationships tend to grow over time, the student teacher/dynamic should remain intact. Respect and honor are severely lacking in today’s youth and the idea of keeping students at a distance while still being friendly and supportive is ultimately one that will benefit them the most while providing protection for the teacher. Rapports grown over time may be nurtured into friendships post high school but need to be kept in check while in the classroom itself.

    • Teri Caouette
      November 18th, 2011 at 14:43 | #16

      You were clear about your position on “friending” students. I would have been interested in the positive ways you connect with students to develop meaningful relationships.

  10. Smalone
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:33 | #17

    The situation of friending students on Facebook is always a gray matter in the universe of social networking. Facebook when philosophically used in a correct manner can make wonderful connections in our professional and personal world. As social media has evolved, the idea of personal and professional have shifted from gray to black and white.nnFrom my personal perspective, I would not friend students on my personal page. I would create a group or create a professional page ot make academic connections with my students. Allowing students to personally access one’s Facebook page is a Pandora’s box waiting to be opened.

    • Edixon
      November 18th, 2011 at 14:36 | #18

      I think your “Pandora’s box” metaphor is totally appropriate for this discussion. It clearly illustrates the need for discretion in these relationships with students that go beyond the confines of the classroom walls.

  11. Elaine & Iris
    November 18th, 2011 at 14:34 | #19

    Teacher-student Facebook relationships are borderline inappropriate. Although Facebook can be a valuable tool in the classroom, out-of-school relationships can lead to negative ramifications for both parties. nnAs a teacher, opening up their personal Facebook to students may result in having to monitor all posts, photos, tagging and information. Teachers may feel obligated to be in u201cteaching modeu201d all the time, blurring the lines between their personal and professional life. Posting of the last family get together with cousin, letu2019s say Robbie, riding his motorcycle off a jump while naked may not be appropriate for student viewing. Also, teachers may feel obligated to moderate student postings on their wall. This may cause friction as student feelings may be hurt or teachers may resent student intrusion on their personal life.nnTeacher-student Facebook relationships can increase communication, provide a role-model opportunities and support social learning. In some situations teachers are the only positive examples of adult behavior in a studentu2019s life, providing guidance where parents fail. This is a very important relationship for some, however, others may be more focused on u201cdigging up the dirtu201d to use against a teacher. If a student came across a photo or context that indicates that the teacher didnu2019t act appropriately they may use it to excuse their own behavior in class. nnThere is a distinction that has to be made between teacher-student relationship, parent-student relationship and friend-student relationship. Although most teachers are aware of the distinction, most students are not. The interpretation of what is said or done could be detrimental to the teacher, the student or both. In the end, there are some things for the adult, some for the child and some meant to be shared. The Facebook relationship between a teacher and a student should be confined to the learning environment.

    • Barbara Greenstone
      November 18th, 2011 at 14:37 | #20

      You last paragraph brings the discussion to a logical conclusion when you restate your position, “The Facebook relationship between a teacher and a student should be confined to the learning environment.”

Comments are closed.