Editor’s Note: The Perils of Posting - Tech Learning

Editor’s Note: The Perils of Posting

Will the fear mongering over social media inschools never cease?
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Will the fear mongering over social media in schools never cease? Last month, middle school math teacher Melissa Cairns, from Buchtel Community Learning Center in Ohio, became the latest victim. She was put on unpaid leave after an Akron public schools worker noticed her joke Facebook photo of a group of students with duct tape across their mouths. Cue the sanctimonious handwringing: “Has she violated the students’ privacy? That’s what we’re concerned about,” school board chair Jason Haas is quoted as saying.

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This is just the latest example of how restrictive laws and policies concocted last century are ineffective at best and downright damaging at their worst. So what’s the best way to deal with these new realities? Read what Tech&Learning advisor Cathy Swan has to say (Being Social: How social media can transform your school classrooms). Cathy is the technology integration teacher for the humanities and social sciences at New Canaan High School in New Canaan, CT. She is also one of the most innovative educators in the country when it comes to using these new tools. Her solution in a nutshell? Remove the restrictions and just get to work teaching digital literacy, citizenship, and etiquette while using these amazing new technologies to enhance learning.

Of course it’s essential to set parameters. Cairns has herself admitted that, in retrospect, the post was a bad idea, but: “Do I think that this one mistake should cost me the last 10 years of all the good I’ve done? Absolutely not… When your emotions are involved, that’s when you learn things.” When it comes to social media, we’re all learning as we go along.

— Kevin Hogan
Editorial Director



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I’m not sure if contributing editor Ellen Ullman likes doingher taxes or not, but she sure seemed to enjoy digging intothe finances of some of the country’s more innovative schooldistricts (Smart Ways to Save).

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Editor’s Note: Best Guesses

In what has become an annual Tech&Learning tradition, theeditors asked our esteemed team of advisors to bring outthe crystal ball and try to divine what’s next in edtech.

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Editor’s Note: In a Perfect World

One of the best experiences at Tech&Learning’s mostrecent SchoolCIO Summit, which was held lastSeptember in Denver, CO, was when we forced, er,requested the 50 or so attending district executives toparticipate in some group management role play.

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Editor’s Note: Showstopper

The thought came to me somewhere amid the throng in theGeorgia World Congress convention center in Atlantalast June, which I then promptly posted to Facebook (ofcourse): “Has edtech become cool?!”

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Editor’s Note: Big Ideas

One of the more satisfying aspects of this job is theopportunity to meet regularly with some of America’smost innovative educators and to pick their brains.

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Editor’s Note: Present Perfect

Welcome to 2015 and to the 35th year of Tech&Learning! While the owners, titles, and editors of this chronicle have changed many times over the decades, the mission has not—to share ideas and tools for edtech leaders.