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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Do you allow Facebook for teachers? in Technical; Originally Posted by enjay The "what if staff forgot to log out" question is irrelevant; if a staff member leaves ...
  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    The "what if staff forgot to log out" question is irrelevant; if a staff member leaves themselves logged, then they are opening up all sorts of DPA issues (work email, SIMS, letters to parents, reports, etc.) and action should be taken anyway, irrespective of whether they have Facebook access or not.
    interesting point this... if a few facebook mishaps happen would staff be more proactive about password control and restricting physical access.

  2. #32

    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    Nope, no access to Staff not even the head teacher (if she wanted) to facebook.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowx View Post
    Man you guys are harsh!

    Our staff here have almost complete freedom on the net. We block dodgy sites, inappropriate sites like porn, gambling, violence etc...but staff are free to use facebook, shopping sites etc... Why? Because mostly staff can be trusted.

    To my knowledge there hasn't been a single incident of staff leaving facebook open on their machines or even accessing it during a lesson. They have machines in the library, their personal smart phones, some have tablets, all are given laptops so why would they need to use their whiteboard machines during a lesson to go on facebook?

    I think the issue isn't about why you should or shouldn't block it but rather why your leadership don't trust the staff to make the correct judgements.

    Part of our staff handbook refers to social medial sites and how to stay safe and professional etc... there are also guides written by teachers on how to stay private on facebook, how to use the privacy settings etc...and all staff know that if they start posting pictures of themselves nude on facebook and a kid finds it that their job will be up for grabs before the end of the week. Simple.
    .
    Well, our staff only have their laptop which they use as a classroom machine so what happens is that the bell for lunch goes, the children leave, the staff member looks at his or her email, checks facebook (which of course is permanently logged in) and then waltzes off to lunch leaving the machine logged in and ready for a student to access.
    I wish it didnt happen, because, as you say, I have made a big point of explaining that any staff machine left logged-in is going to be dangerous (specially as it is the SEN teacher who does it most) but it does, and until that stops I can't see that allowing facebook is going to be a good thing
    In fact, I did a quick straw poll in the staffroom and most staff do not want it on their laptops. They cannot see why they would need it in the daytime as most posting goes on at night and they can see the dangers

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowx View Post
    Man you guys are harsh!
    Yeah, no doubt!

    This kind of heavy handed approach to handling employees is no different than the corporate cube farm; all work and no play. There is something to be said for balancing employee moral. You reach a point productivity will suffer because your staff loathes their job. Aside from all this, if you can't trust a teacher to manage their time with Facebook, how can you trust them in regards to other time wasters they do have access to?

    We've had Facebook, eBay, Craigslist, and other sites open to staff now (we do keep extensive logs though) for two years and have yet to have an issue.

  5. #35

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Sorry, safeguarding comes first in a school. And irresponsible behaviour by staff does happen - there are regularly examples in the media of staff being disciplined or sacked for such things. Being able to access facebook on a school machine is not necessary. If they want facebook access in school hours, they can use their own phones. Plain and simple.

  6. #36
    RichCowell's Avatar
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    There's also the worry of pupils working out/getting staff passwords... It's not been an issue at my current school, but it has at previous schools, and in some cases the teachers have actually given pupils their passwords if they've forgotten their own or to bypass filters... That's bad enough for them being able to get on their own Facebook accounts, but if they get on to a teacher's machine who's got it set to stay signed in, then there's potentially all sorts of issues that can arise... Luckily that's not something that's likely to happen at my current school, and is likely to happen less these days, but it's still a risk I'm not prepared to take...

    Also - it's not just a case of whether or not the teachers are trusted, it's just not needed in school... as others have said, they've got their mobiles with access to things that are filtered in school - that should suffice until they get home...

  7. #37

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    There's an issue with teacher passwords regardless of filtering. Access to the MIS is a good starter.

    Personally I wouldn't cloud a filtering debate with password security.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    Yes. Allowing a reasonable amount of personal use of school IT is good for work-life balance in my view. As professionals, staff are expected to manage that time so that their use does not interfere with their duties.
    That's the view that was taken here. We use smoothwall and facebook is available for all staff from 5pm in the evening until 8am the next morning. Not available during the school day when students are on site, except for a couple of senior staff who use it for investigative circumstances.

  9. #39
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    Guys, seriously - if computers are being left unlocked and unattended, you have a major security problem and breach of the DPA, irrespective of whether staff have access to Facebook. Sort that out before you waste any more time discussing minor issues like Facebook access.

  10. #40
    enjay's Avatar
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    As for the Facebook question, I still think it comes down to professional trust - staff are given YouTube access for the obvious teaching benefits it offers, and are trusted that they won't mis-use this or spend time in lessons watching the sneezing panda. You're presumably not proposing white-list access for staff, so why single out just one way in which staff can waste time? There are all sorts of time-wasting sites on the Internet and staff are trusted to act in a professional and responsible manner.

    You give staff computer access and trust them to use it appropriately, in the same way that you permit them to bring smart phones into school and use them appropriately, or indeed to bring in a newspaper but not sit in class reading it.

    Also, the nature of teachers' jobs means that they are often here until gone 9pm for parents evenings; if they live some distance away so don't want to go home in between, why not allow them to check Facebook at 6pm?

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Guys, seriously - if computers are being left unlocked and unattended, you have a major security problem and breach of the DPA, irrespective of whether staff have access to Facebook. Sort that out before you waste any more time discussing minor issues like Facebook access.
    This ^^

    I agree that at the end of the day the kids come first. A school can't exist if there are no students and they do need protecting, however facebook for staff isn't about protecting the kids, it's about protecting the staff. If a staff member wants to leave their machine logged on with facebook open then perhaps the school is better off without them anyway... By all means put in technical measures and training but if staff don't listen then let them get sacked. Not your problem.

    I don't understand how any employer can tighten the screws with regards to things like Facebook, youtube etc... What's the point? Are the kids getting their expected grades? Are the kids safe? Are the kids looked after? Are they happy? If you can answer yes to all of those questions then frankly I wouldn't care if you spend 95% of your time watching cats on youtube. If there is a no somewhere in that mix then by all means management need to look at where that staff member's attention is going and correct that.

    No need to punish people by restricting freedom if they are doing their job properly.

  12. #42


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    We're similar to @AngryTechnician. If you're a member of staff Facebook is treated the same way as any other website - it gets allowed or blocked on a page content basis.

    The staff AUP covers expectations and staff receive training on keeping a sensible level of segregation between work and play.

    Have we had individuals messing about on Facebook when they should have been working? Yes.
    Has their slacking showed up in other areas before any mention of the Internet was made? Definitely. The Internet is just another way to slack.

    The "because Mr Bloggs is an idiot, so none of you can have nice things" approach is not the way to go about things. If he's consistently an idiot, go through the normal disciplinary and re-training program.

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