This question really caught my eye because it’s a question I’ve been wondering about myself. I have a teacher from my high school days that is my friend on facebook. Where I come from it’s a very small town where everyone knows everyone and it’s a way to keep in touch. Many of my classmates are spread out over the country and facebook helps us keep connected. Personally I feel that my teacher felt a connection with our class and really deeply cared about us as people. Our teacher has partially helped us become who we are today; another respectable adult in my life that I am happy to have as my friend on facebook. As a student I would also feel comfortable being a facebook friend with some of my professors at the university because they have helped me grow so much professionally. However, I feel it is a personal choice.
I use facebook as a personal tool; although, I have chosen to keep it professional. I have teacher colleages, grandparents, uncles, and aunts added as friends on my facebook; people who I respect and admire. Facebook is an easy way to keep in touch with them, look at their recent photos and from teacher colleages, get teaching resources or ideas.
Will I want my students to see all of my information, pictures, etc.? Quite honestly, no, I don’t want my students to see every part of my personal life and they don’t have to; privacy settings can help us be sure of that. If a student requested me as a friend I would accept, keeping in mind the need of being professional towards those students at all times. Les Potter mentioned six points at the bottom of his blog entry that he felt were important to follow if adding students as friends. I feel that his points underline our need to be professional about our use of facebook. Hardin Coleman also talks about the need of being professional on facebook after 3 teachers have been fired from their jobs in New York on My Fox Boston for inappropriate contact with students on facebook.
If you are interested in reading more thoughts about the above topic check out this discussion or google the topic question. What are your thoughts on the topic?