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Hazards and

Pitfalls
Potential Dangers of Using
Social Media as an
Educator

What Could Possibly Go


Wrong??
In groups of 3 or 4,
brainstorm a list of
all the possible
problems that
could arise from a
teachers use of
social media

Social Media Problems in the


Classroom
Students may use the site for personal
interaction instead of for educational
purposes
Social media can encourage cyber-bullying
or online harassment, segregation of
students into cliques, or the use of
improper or incorrect language

Social Media Problems


Outside of the Classroom
Changes the dynamic when a teacher and
student become friends online
Possibly lead to inappropriate relationships
ABC7 Amarillo News Clip

The internet is forever, and electronic


messages are not anonymous
Teacher could be reprimanded for
publishing inappropriate or unprofessional
content
To date, most cases arguing that teachers
can exercise free speech on social
networks have lost

Actual Cases
Now you will review cases of
potential misconduct made by
teachers when using social media
Then, you will be asked to vote on
what consequences (if any)
should have been issued
After completing your poll, return
to this slideshow to find out what
really happened to the teachers

What Really Happened?


Remember Case 1 of the teacher who just
wanted to vent?
A teacher in New Jersey [made]
comments about the students in her
class, saying she felt like a warden
overseeing future criminals. She was
reacting after a particularly stressful day
and vented on Facebook to what she
thought was her select 300 plus friends.
However, the comment got forwarded to
some parents who complained to the
authorities.

Survey Results
Here are the responses (so far) from those
who have completed the survey
Click ahead to see what consequences she
actually faced

Click icon to add picture

The teacher was fired

What Really Happened?


And case 2 with the teacher who
threatened her students?
Newark teacher Krista Hodges used
Twitter to express her desire to stab
some of her students and pour hot
coffee on them
Here are the current results of the
survey
Click again to find her actual
consequences

Written Reprimand from Her


School District

What Really Happened?


What about Case 3 with the teacher who
had playful exchanges with students?
Connecticut teacher Jeffrey Spanierman had
two cyber conversations with students on
his MySpace page. In one posting, he teased
a student about his girlfriend, and the
student responded, dont be jealous cause
you cant get any lol:) Spanierman replied:
What makes you think I want any? I'm not
jealous. I just like to have fun and goof on
you guys. If you don't like it. Kiss my brass!
LMAO. He also jokingly threatened another
student with lifelong detention for calling
him sir.

Survey Results
Here are the current results of the survey
And what really happened to him?

The Teacher Was


Fired

What Really Happened?


And finally, Case 4: The Teacher Who
Went to Europe
Ashley Payne was a 24-year-old public high
school English teacher in Georgia when her
principal called her into his officebecause of
content on her personal Facebook page [of]
photographs of Payne drinking alcohol in
European beer gardens and cafs during a
recent vacation and a comment that she was
attending a trivia contest called "Crazy Bitch
Bingo" at a local restaurant. Even though
Payne used Facebook's privacy settings, the
principal had learned about the content from
an anonymous email claiming one of Payne's
students had seen the pictures and the
profanity.

Survey Results
Here is what teachers taking this training
thought should happen to her
Click ahead to find out what really
occurred

Principal Warned Her


She Could Be
Suspended

Lesson?
Discuss in your small groups:
Do you think the punishments fit the
crimes in these cases?
What do you take away from these examples
and the other content from the training?
Will you make any changes to your own current
social media practices?

References
Doug Oakley, T. N. (2014, September 7). Teachers
and social media: trekking on treacherous terrain.
Oakland Tribune, The (CA).
Kuehn, L. (2012). Getting into trouble on Facebook.
Our Schools / Our Selves, 21(2), 83-88.
Papandrea, M. (2012). Social networks and the law:
Social media, public school teachers, and the first
amendment. North Carolina Law Review, 90, 15971642.
Simpson, M. (2009). Social networking nightmares:
Cyberspeak no evil. National Education Association.