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When Students Ask “Can I Friend You?”: An Ethical Response Guide.

When Students Ask “Can I Friend You?”: An Ethical Response Guide.

I was excited to check out this Tweet from @TaliCSM the ed director at Common Sense Education about how to ethically respond to a student friend-request. It took me to educator Keegan Korf’s blog post where in short, she shared that she only “friends” former students, and warns them that inappropriate behavior will result in defriending.

Keegan’s simple and sensible policy mirror’s the practice of many educators I work with, know, and respect.

I replied to her Tweet explaining I had a different view.

I don’t like blanket policies and I don’t believe the only relationship to have with young people is teacher-student. I learn so much from students.

What I loved was Keegan’s excitement around the conversation and willingness to gain another perspective. This is how we develop and grow our thinking.


You can see the exchange at the bottom of this post. You can see Keegan’s ethical response guide here. My ethical response guide, a work in progress, is at this link and below. Check them both out and think about what makes sense for you, or, if you have a different take, please share your insights in the comments.

The Twitter exchange that inspired this post:

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.