Teachers and Myspace

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by Addybob, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. jcizman

    jcizman Rookie

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    Jan 20, 2006

    MySpace

    I, too, thought MySpace was an acceptable website for students.
    How could 47 million users be wrong? But I am increasingly appalled by the suggestive photos and comments that are regularly posted.
    I have cautioned my students about sexual predators and those who pose false identities. I do not think it is a good thing for a teacher to be involved in and can certainly understand why so many schools have blocked the site from their computers.
     
  2. dhom

    dhom Rookie

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    Jan 20, 2006

    What'd they say? :)
     
  3. MeganLN

    MeganLN New Member

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    Jan 21, 2006

    I just saw a news special on myspace the other night. Employers are searching the site for names of potential employees. My 6th graders do not understand the long term affect of this. I also heard of kids using it for bullying and threatening others, posting explicit pictures, etc. DANGEROUS ground!
     
  4. dhom

    dhom Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2006

    Yes - and people can still find cached copies of blog accounts on Google after the blogs have been deleted:

    http://www.google.com/help/features.html#cached

    Students who post public blogs on Xanga and MySpace will probably find that Google is not very willing to remove the cached copies of their writing unless they can prove that they have control over the domains Xanga.com or MySpace.com.
     
  5. avallus

    avallus New Member

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    Jan 23, 2006

    what to do

    I personally feel that Myspace is an unprofessional tool of the internet that should be used outside of school. It should in no way be used for school functions and/or classrooms. My advice is to have someone or yourself create your own personal website, designated strictly for educational purposes.

    Myspace is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    What does everyone else think?


     
  6. bobniborg

    bobniborg Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2006

    I have a myspace account. I use it to talk to former students. See what they are up to, etc. I set it up exclusively for this purpose. I do NOT go to their pages and read (because I know they are probably doing stuff the police should be monitoring, not the former teacher). I just basically use it as email. I tossed up a pic of myself and my daughter (she's just 2 now so a lot of former students hadn't seen her).

    In my opinion, using it in this matter is fine. Im not a creap and I dont do creapy things so Im not worried about it.
     
  7. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Jan 26, 2006

    It was funny, we actually had a conversation about this at lunch today. It made me think of this thread. One teacher (4th grade) was saying that she over heard a few kids in her class talking about MySpace yesterday and is now thinking of deleting her account because of this. She uses it for her own personal use and has pictures of herself and friends on it. She said there's nothing bad on it, but just doesn't feel comfortable with the possibility of her students finding her account.
     
  8. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    Jan 26, 2006

    Question: I am new tho this Myspcae thing. If I go there and view someones myspace will they know I did? Does it log everyone that views their page?
     
  9. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    That's a good question Rosieo.
     
  10. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Jan 27, 2006

    i'm a myspace addict.
    no, they can't see who views their page.

    actually, one of my employees this summer used myspace and i saw her on there.
    she wrote a very inappropriate blog about one of our campers that violated confidentiality law and she was fired for her myspace posting.
    caution is key when using myspace.
     
  11. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    Jan 27, 2006

    Ellen that is good to know. Thanks!
     
  12. NiceNiche4Now

    NiceNiche4Now Rookie

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    Jan 30, 2006

    reply to dhom

    We have the microsoft browser, but students install firefox to be sneaky and try and evade the walls.

    If only they put that effort into school work.....seriously, some of thier extra cirricular involvement in just creating myspace could be harvested for good instead of a pseudo-useful outlet of feelings/creativlity. Communicating with actual people is probally healthier than broadcasting your life to a variety of people, some of which are creepy, to say the least.
     
  13. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Jan 31, 2006

    NN4N, I agree with you.
    Our paper just ran a story about a local Catholic school that is asking its students to avoid myspace. The school gave most of the reasons already stated here, and they weren't demanding the kids leave it alone, they were suggesting. Well, one boy who referred to the school in a post was told to stop mentioning the school's name.

    The teens in the story were livid and saw nothing wrong with myspace. Their feeling was, the school had no right to tell them what to do. These kids think they're invincible, like nothing bad can happen to them.
     
  14. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Jan 31, 2006

    I was appalled by some of the postings (blogs, photos, etc.). And I don't mean just the personal information (enough to allow anyone to locate a teen's real name and address - they name their school, post their cell numbers, mention the locations and times of their activities), but the lewd stuff! I saw on kids' spaces on MySpace, Xanga, and other social networking sites. I don't think it's a good idea for any teacher to have a public account.

    I would never post my photo or photos of my children on the internet. Period.
     
  15. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Jan 31, 2006

    well, in my defense, i'm not a teacher anymore.
    but i had a myspace account last year when i was teaching.
    i'm not lewd.
    i'm not offensive.
    i don't post any pictures of myself nekkid.
    i do blog, but all of my blogs are "friends-only" to prevent strangers/co-workers/employees/etc from reading them.

    it is pretty interesting to read the articles about myspace/friendster/etc.
    some employees claim they now search for job applicants in the pages to assist with determining if they want to hire them.
    and some schools are trying to discipline students for use of myspace when at home.
    it raises a whole new question of accountability.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2006
  16. Fawn Lori

    Fawn Lori Rookie

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    May 17, 2006

    BEWARE! I was placed on administrative leave thanks to MySpace... not because of mine (although I did have one- deleted the day this happened) but because some of my students accessed MySpace from my computer lab. I'm a special ed teacher with 8 years experience and have always been diligent in monitoring the internet use in my lab. This hit me like a ton of bricks and now I am sitting here crying, mortified, and wishing every single minute I never heard of that **** site.
     
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    May 17, 2006

    I don't think it's a great idea because it's giving free reign to too many kids. I found my cousins' site and was appalled. She is a good Kid, never been in any kind of trouble, but yet she has some pretty inappropriate graphics (that you can get for free, I think) on her site. I am so upset, but I can't admit to it, because I found it on my own, and also because when I asked her for it she refused to give it to me.

    I think it's a good way to meet people from all over, but unfortunately, most kids use it as an excuse to be obscene and vulgar w/out the watchful eyes of thier parents.
     
  18. dhom

    dhom Rookie

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    May 17, 2006

    Fawn Lori, I'm sorry to hear that you had to go on leave because of your students' MySpace usage. Is your school having trouble setting up a firewall to block MySpace - or for some reason not wanting to?

    If this is a widespread problem, I might be able to write a program to do this without the need to configure a firewall. Please let me know what specific problems you're having in keeping kids from improper sites. If you want, you can email me at secondary at (no spam please, Web bots) teachbible dot com.
     
  19. Fawn Lori

    Fawn Lori Rookie

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    May 17, 2006

    No, we have a firewall and I honestly thought they could not log in, only view the pages. Unfortunately, I teach in a secure facility and the kids not only were able to log in without me realizing it, but they were able to uipload pics of themselves which were obviously taken inside the facility. I use supervision software... but the kids will find a way around anything we use...
     
  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    May 17, 2006

    What a nightmare, Fawn Lori.
     
  21. dhom

    dhom Rookie

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    May 17, 2006

    Yikes - how did they get past your firewall? I'd be quite interested in finding out!
     
  22. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    May 17, 2006

    Myspace and xanga both seem very teen-oriented, and the formatting isn't nearly as flexible as a web site. I have two web sites, one personal and one work. I've had a student or two on my personal site from time to time, but it's nothing really all that "personal" that they shouldn't see anyway. They view my work site frequently.
     
  23. MissMe

    MissMe New Member

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    I think using the Myspace account to interact with the students personally could become a problem. Check with your school board and such. They may have rules about that sort of thing. I know my work place does. We can have a Myspace but we are not allowed to talk about where we work.

    If you are permitted to have one. I would think if you didn't talk about anything personal and used it to post homework, study tips, homework help sites, ect. It could be helpful. While they are browsing their friends' sites they will eventually stop by yours and be reminded that they have that big assignment due at the end of the week or what not. The chances of them going to a site set up by you on a different network simply for homework probably wouldn't get to many hits. I know when I was in high school there was a phone line we could call to see what the homework was for the day. I don't think I ever called and I'm not sure if I knew anyone else who did.
     
  24. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    May 18, 2006

    I wanted to ask - I personally have a myspace account where I talk to several friends on a regular basis because I have gotten in touch with many friends and family members on there (not everyone on there is bad). But - it DOES have some material I don't think students should see or read (not explicit - mostly meant to be ironically funny - dark humor, etc).

    I am just beginning my teaching career and I don't want to lose the conenctions I have been able to make on myspace - so I was wondering if you all thought this would be an acceptable response to this problem -

    I take my current profile and I change it so it hides my info (if you change your birthday to below 14 it automatically makes your account private). Then I open a "dummy" account under my real name to direct people to apply for a "friend" status on the "real" site. This way I can still let people know it is me (and not someone under 14) and get to keep the info private and still be able to be found well enough by freinds.

    Lemme know if this sounds acceptable to anyone. I don't want to jeapordize any future carerr - but I also don't think I should have to completely curb every harmless aspect of my personal life to do it.

    ~J
     
  25. kamteach5

    kamteach5 Rookie

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    i have a myspace account but under a different identity. I use it to keep up to date on my 15 year old son. His is set to private and I am not on his buddy list, but his friends are not set to private so I have a pretty good idea of what he is up to. He really doesn't get onto often. I think he is bored with it and has moved on. He knows I am on but he doesn't want me to visit his site. I think there may be some inappropriate language and music but I feel pretty confident he is not too out there. My neice is on his buddy list and she tells me it is ok.

    The interesting thing is running into myspace accounts of some of my fifth graders. Nothing too drastic but they are on and lying about their ages of course. I would never begin a dialogue with them I feel that would be inappropriate. I definitely feel teachers should not cross the line where personal relationships are concerned.
     
  26. Fawn Lori

    Fawn Lori Rookie

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    Well, the accusations being made is that I taught them how to get around the filter, taught them how to set up MySpace accounts, and allowed them to upload the pics and send messages. As to exactly how they did get around the filter, we've been working with CEN to better define our filter for a while now and it seems each time they "tweak" it, we gain one blocked site while others become unblocked. One day the kids were able to see Yahoo! personals, the next day they couldn't but they could get Yahoo! mail... and it never ceases to amaze me as to just how fast word gets around a secure facility about what they can get into!

    Today marks week two of admin. leave... and no word yet on even when my investigatory meeting will be, much less if/when I can go back to work.
     
  27. Tinsley81

    Tinsley81 Rookie

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    Delete it. It's not worth it as a 'just in case' measure. I deleted mine as soon as I started going on interviews this year. I don't know if admin. are really searching for candidates accounts, but if I were you, I wouldn't take the chance. I lost contact with a few old friends after canceling mine, but I figure, if they don't want to take the time to email me with my regular email account, then oh well!

     
  28. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Well, I set my account to private - and while perhaps deleting it might be a better choice - I have decided not to. I have to draw a line somewhere. I think that setting the control to private is enough (you cannot see my account unless I approve you as a friend). There is nothing offensive about the picture I have displayed that can be seen without looking further into the account. And really, while there is some "dark" humor on my account - there is nothing outright offensive.

    There gets to be a certain point where one has to decide that even as teachers we are allowed a personal agenda of our own choosing. And I think the important thing is that we try to do our best to be as guarded as is reasonable. So - I have set mine to private and if a students chooses to engage in illegal activity such as hacking into myspace to see my account - well then I guess just nothing is safe. If their hacking skills are that great, then they would likely be able to hack into my home computer as well - and I'm not willing to toss that out the window.

    ~J
     
  29. Mrs. Toby

    Mrs. Toby Rookie

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    To get on My Space at school the kids are going to the Google home page and typing in their My Space url and then translating it into another language, like German. I don't use my blog on My Space, I really only use it to check up on my students. Many of you are correct in saying that there are inappropriate things that you didn't want to know about your students.

    I usually make a comment to the student, "So I saw your My Space and you should tone it down". They tend to get embarrassed because a lot of that stuff is a major stretch of the truth. Remember, at this age they are trying to impress their friends and will say whatever it takes to do that!
     
  30. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I heard on the news that some education departments will be looking at my space websites and faces(?) websites of perspective teachers before hiring them. I can't remember what state(s) they were talking about. They were warning perspective teachers to be careful of what they post.
     
  31. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    Some of what students post IS definitely frightening....and unfortunately, they don't realize what a potentially dangerous position they're creating for themselves!
     
  32. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    One By One Media, in their Teaching Teachers One By One division, does a teacher in-service about student blogs that is really good, in case your school would be interested. They will show you how to help students set up blogs that are locked down and safe, and how you as a teacher can use student blogs in your lessons. They also do seminars to teach teachers how to set up and utilize classroom websites, monitor student usage, check history after a student uses the computer (even when the kid thinks he's erased it!) and general computer/internet usage and safety for both teachers and students. Their in-service prices are low, and they do an excellent job. If you think your school would be interested, I can give you the contact information. Jim Turner and Scott Goldblatt (yes, the Olympic swimmer!) do the seminars and they are awesome. In this day and age, we are required to utilize computers more and more, and our students know far more than we do about some aspects of the internet. Jim and Scott can show you how to catch up with them. I can't recommend this program highly enough.
     
  33. hhennigan

    hhennigan Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2006

    My Space not a good idea

    I have a my space account to see what my students have on their sites to get a better look into the child not the student. I do not think it would be appropriate for me to talk to students there. I think it is too personal and it is a brewing ground for trouble.
     
  34. historyteacher

    historyteacher Companion

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    I would never converse with students using myspace. I have a blog but it is for informational purposes and its very clear what it is for. Sometimes former students email me at my school address. I respond but only once and I always print out what they sent to me and I print out my response. I keep them in a folder.

    I teach fourth grade but a few are let loose on the computer at home....you can tell. I worry when we do something in the lab that someone is going to do something they shouldn't. Even if the web guys have firewalled it and done everything they can the kids still do things they shouldn't and then the teacher is the one who gets blamed.

    I was thinking about setting up a blog for our writing because it provides an opportunity for students to post their writing and to comment on the writing of others. Comments can be moderated so entries can be limited to our class only, but I don't know if it would be worth it. If anyone knows a safe, less hassle way to do this let me know....
     
  35. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Jun 22, 2006

    Well, you could consider setting up an MSN group. It is free and you can set the account to only allow people in who are approved by a moderator. AND you can chose to moderate all posts (so you don't get a student putting up something objectionable) and it gives areas for photos and for calenders and for chat which can be turned on or off. I am going to be checking with my school to see if I can set one up for my students. I can update it with suggested reading for breaks and things like that. I hope they will approve it.

    ~J
     
  36. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2006

    I sometimes put my students on locked-down Diaryland journals, all linked to each other and commentable only with a password. For myself, though, I prefer Blogger.
     
  37. cwp873

    cwp873 Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2006

    I would absolutely get off Myspace. Not to sound sexist, but if you're a guy chatting with your female students on Myspace...? That's evening news material on a slow news day!
    A police officer came to the PTO meeting at my son's school and filled us in on Myspace. She advocated setting up a fake account to keep track of what our kids and their friends are upto. My son's only 11 and isn't allowed, but I set up one to try to see what my students are up to because I worry about them (wasn't going to talk- just wanted to see) but couldn't find them. Guess they are all using nicknames or fake names.
     
  38. eastcoastkobe

    eastcoastkobe Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2006

    Yeah I would not do the myspace thing. Use a blackboard and create assignment forums, and then do a free for all for them to vent or ask silly stuff. You may have to start them off in this area because they may be hesitant to get going.
     
  39. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jun 25, 2006

    I wouldn't be surprised if people on teacher interviewing boards attempt to look up prospective teachers on MySpace and similar boards. I'm sure it would have a certain amount of pull whether they decide to hire the person or not.

    In a way, though, this shouldn't depend on whether someone gets a job. Whatever happened to free speech & all that? On the other hand, it's like if someone finds out that a prospective employee is into porn & then here they are trying to get a job working w/ kids. All their 4.0 GPA summa cum laude education, expert skills & more are pretty much out the window because the employer couldn't help think that the person is a sicko.

    But I guess as long as the person sets up their account so that someone can't just type in their first and/or last name to attempt to find them, it may be alright. But when it comes to careers working w/ kids, you have to be more careful.
     
  40. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2006

    Fawn Lori, I've been worrying about you. Are there any developments?
     

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