Ethics and Social Media in Teaching
Jul 9, 2016 Teaching 884 Views
Teachers have a professional obligation to be trustworthy with the education and care of their pupils. Often during a teacher's professional career, a student will look at him/her as a role model and since educators will teach their students with both academics and life lessons, the proper use of social media is very important. Teachers who learn to perfect the good use of social platforms will establish constructive and respectful values with the community and their students.
The Virginia Department of Education has established a professional code of ethics that an educationist must follow to ensure unbiased and trustworthy instruction for their students. "The mission of the Department of Education is to lead and facilitate the development and implementation of a quality public education system that meets the needs of students and assists them in becoming educated, productive, and responsible citizens." ("Code of Ethics") A professional code of ethics outlines a teacher's responsibility in a students' life via a classroom or social media platform. Whether it is within the traditional field of standard learning or the modern method of e-learning, instructors must establish integrity, fairness and retain a good ethical performance with students, parents and colleagues.
Since the use of social media has become increasing popular in today's society, it makes sense to attempt to use it in the structure of education as well. However, by having a social media account teachers can expose themselves to a diversity of problems. It is important for the individual to access the situation and school regulations before deciding if the circumstances warrant the use of social media or not. Even the smallest indication of inappropriate behavior can destroy a professor's reputation causing detrimental effects to their career. With the practice of good ethical observations, it is possible for educators to achieve the positive potential of social networking for educational purposes without risking their professional status. Social media use also requires the understanding and knowledge of the platforms privacy settings as well as the general use of computer literacy.
According to Classroom Culture, (2013) teachers are held to a higher standard than people in many other professions and when they make a choice to use social media they must do so with caution. The ethics that are set in standard learning via the classroom must be applied within the e-learning environment as well. Once an instructor post a status or emails a student, parent or associate their words can become public even with the accurate privacy settings applied. Copy and paste are helpful tools, but they can also be used with malice. In addition, emails can be forwarded, so it is important to conduct emails in the appropriate manner. If the use of social media is a requirement for a teaching position, then an educationalist must exercise attentiveness in doing so. Teachers who learn to master the best use of social media ethics will inaugurate both positive and respectful values within their profession, community and classrooms.
Classroom Culture. (2013, January 1). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.tolerance.org/publication/classroom-culture Code of Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from http://www.doe.virginia.gov