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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Access to Facebook for teachers in Technical; Dear All, In the ever growing trend that is Social Networking, it's becoming the norm these days for groups and ...
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    paulst30's Avatar
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    Access to Facebook for teachers

    Dear All,

    In the ever growing trend that is Social Networking, it's becoming the norm these days for groups and pages to crop up for marketing purposes or to have a centralised hub for whatever it may be used for.

    Our internet policy states that there will be no access given to social media, and networking or webmail and i think for good reason. Everyone signs this agreement every year and yet today i'm still being asked to allow Facebook because there's a business need for it.

    What's everyones view on access to FB in school?

    Thanks

    Paul

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    Dom_'s Avatar
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    When i worked in highschools, i generally allowed it for staff - they can get on through their mobiles anyway, and management weren't too bothered. Definitely block for kids though :-)

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    Get this in writing from the SMT. Students are not the only people who can cause issues by what they say on Facebook.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    I think there needs to be management decisions on this.

    If you allow it and it's exploited or a backlash - then it was their decision, and can't be blamed on the technology.

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    paulst30's Avatar
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    I have passed it up the line, and hopefully it will filter down. The problem is i can see both arguments, and we're trying to get the school involved in Twitter updates and stuff like that.
    The newer staff are all starting to ask for software that they used in their old school, i.e. Dropbox and we're kind of lagging behind.

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    tudorcrisp's Avatar
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    We have been asked this very question by a newby ICT teaching and learning co-ordinator. I told him if he wanted it changed then create a policy that SMT & Headmaster sign off on. He went off and did it, the policy has to be signed by teaching staff before they will be able to access Facebook etc.. I think this is the best policy to go down as responsibility lies with SMT and ultimately Headmaster.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davit2005 View Post
    Get this in writing from the SMT. Students are not the only people who can cause issues by what they say on Facebook.
    Absolutely agree, but don't forget that they can make the same screwups when accessing it at home in the evening, and the only real difference in terms of consequences is that you won't have a log of it from the proxy server.

    We allow access to social media for staff (with SMT approval) but provide specific training for how staff must act in order to protect themselves, the students, and the reputation of the school. We have clear binding guidance in our AUP of what is expected in line with other guidance on professional conduct.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Facebook is blocked for everyone at our school. RM's SafetyNet filtering doesn't give us any granularity. It hasn't been an issue in school, but I can see secondary school staff raising this.

    As for staff using social networking, it is covered in our AUP and this is an excerpt from our Code of Conduct for Staff:

    Staff are not forbidden to use social networking sites as we recognise the benefits of this mode of communication. However, in line with your professional attitudes and awareness, we do insist that you ensure that your profile and photos are ‘locked down’ as private so that pupils or parents do not have access to your personal data or images; including those of your family, friends or other staff.

    We also request that you do not allow current or recent students access to your profile so you do not put yourself in a vulnerable position.

    We appreciate it is very difficult to control what other people put on these sites but please be aware that you are leaving yourself open to professional misconduct if images or information are made available on a public profile by anyone.
    Every member of staff gets an induction session with me on Data Protection, ICT Acceptable Use and Protecting themselves when they start here which is how my privacy settings document originated.

    I agree that any changes to the school's existing policy must be signed of by SLT... they have to be aware of what's happening and be prepared to accept any consequences.

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    As other people have said, bounce it. It's not a technology issue but does cause massive issues elsewhere, personally I think any teachers claiming it has a teaching use are frankly wrong. The PSHE lessons would be great if they took the class into town to talk to strangers but that wouldn't make the teachers popular, cool or give them something to do instead of lesson planning so its not done.

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    ben604's Avatar
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    We've been asked to sign a policy which has this line in it:

    "Ensure appropriate language is used, at all times, for any comments placed on social networking sites"

    Should I have to censor my language on social network sites, despite not being "friends" with any staff or student from the school?

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ben604 View Post
    We've been asked to sign a policy which has this line in it:

    "Ensure appropriate language is used, at all times, for any comments placed on social networking sites"

    Should I have to censor my language on social network sites, despite not being "friends" with any staff or student from the school?
    All it takes is one slip and you could be deemed to be bring the school into disrepute. A couple of years back an edugeek got into trouble for things said on here... I'm pretty sure it was BTRD (or FFS as it was then known too)

    You may not be friends with colleagues or students. Your friends might be and that's how things get out.

    Of course you should be careful when posting. Everything that goes online stays online and the bad stuff has a nasty habit of returning to bite you on the bum when you least expect it.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Is it possible to allow facebook access but block access to the part of it that requires you to login this way it could be used to access public pages etc... but they wouldn't be able to login in order to play mafia wars or whatever?

    Ben

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Is it possible to allow facebook access but block access to the part of it that requires you to login this way it could be used to access public pages etc... but they wouldn't be able to login in order to play mafia wars or whatever?

    Ben
    It would defeat the object. To get to their profiles which most definitely shouldn't be public and to those of their friends, they'd need to be logged in.

    Staff on facebook for any reason are unlikely to be working, so schools need to decide if they wcan justify that. The problem with the games, etc is the malware that comes bundled with them... which is another reason that schools might want to block facebook.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    It would defeat the object. To get to their profiles which most definitely shouldn't be public and to those of their friends, they'd need to be logged in.
    In the ever growing trend that is Social Networking, it's becoming the norm these days for groups and pages to crop up for marketing purposes or to have a centralised hub for whatever it may be used for.
    My suggestion was based mainly towards this type of use of facebook where companies are posting information to it this is publicly viewable marketing which would be available even if they were unable to log in to their own facebook accounts.

    Ben

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    I should suggest that allowing Facebook at school should be denied for students. It can distract students when the teacher is teaching during class. For the staff I think facebook can be allowed for it can help them get motivated and inspired during work. A bit of facebook and relaxation won seems to hurt.

    In our company it happened that employees are often working online and it does not deny any website that unrelated to work. Instead they just strictly implement an internet usage policy that allows them to visit social media before and after work and during working hours. However, the company should constantly monitor them using these tools on how they use their computer at work. This also tries to remind them that they are being moderated and they should not abuse internet use policy.
    Last edited by iMnotgeek; 30th November 2011 at 10:52 AM. Reason: update



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