Electronic Communication and Social Media Use in Schools – Ontario College of Teachers

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Social Media has become the norm in just about every teen, tween and youngster’s lives. It’s important to be well informed about the challenges social media present but also the benefits! As parents it’s our jobs to be informed, up to date and keep on top of what our kids do online but what about schools? What about our teachers? Do they know how to use social media appropriately to communicate with students?

I have always been iffy about communication online via teachers and students. It’s something that I’ve had mixed feelings about for quite a while but finding out more information, and the standards teachers are held up to really put it all into perspective for me.

As members of a profession, teachers are always on duty. Teachers, like other professionals, such as doctors, nurses and lawyers, are bound by certain standards of conduct. Teachers are expected to be professionals, even outside the classroom and beyond school-related activities.

Ontario teachers are informed about the appropriate use of social media. Knowing my kids’ teachers are well informed on appropriate use of social media has me feeling a bit more confident about my kids using the internet to communicate with teachers.

Teachers are to decline student initiated friend requests online, they are to notify parents and students before using social networks for school activities. Teachers are to maintain a professional persona by communicating with students electronically at appropriate times of the day and through established education platforms (for example, a web page dedicated to a school program, project or class rather than a personal profile).

Teachers also have a responsibility to alert students to appropriate online behaviour and the proper use of comments and images. Something a lot of students struggle with, and could use some guidance with regularly. We see it all too often. Online can be a very scary place but it can also be a great platform if used correctly to learn, communicate and get things accomplished!

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Find a Teacher

Find a Teacher is the College’s public register of all teachers certified to work in Ontario’s public schools. Parents are encouraged to visit Find a Teacher and search for information regarding your certified teachers in Ontario. It’s informative and it’s great to find a little bit more information about our favourite teachers who spend so much time with our children, and teach them so much.

What is Find a Teacher?
Find a Teacher, the College’s public register, lists everyone who has been certified to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded schools.

Each record includes:
• a teacher’s qualifications
• date of initial certification
• status with the College
• disciplinary history, if applicable.

The College does not provide teachers’ addresses or other contact information or employment history. Deceased teachers are not searchable.

Why am I able to do this?: The information made available to the public is defined by Section 23 of the Ontario College of Teachers Act and College bylaws.

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Information included in the e-newsletter:
• Discover College services that help you learn more about teacher qualifications.
• Read about how the College works to ensure high standards in education.
• Be the first to see College reports on trends in education.
• Learn about changes in education legislation.
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I feel more confident knowing my kids are in good hands while at school. I love being able to find out information on teachers that are in their daily lives and knowing that if there is any communication online between my kids and their teachers it will remain professional, and they have rules to follow. My kids also know that while teachers may be the people that are in charge of them during school hours — if they see something inappropriate online, the teachers have a duty to report it. There are always eyes watching and that is a confidence boost in itself. I’m sure not only for parents but students as well.

Does this information make you feel a bit more at ease with Electronic and Social Media use between teachers and students?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was given some form of compensation for this post. However all opinions are mine and 100% true.

27 Comments

  • Reply Pam September 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    It is good to know that teachers have guidelines for dealing with school and social media. This must make it easier to navigate some relatively new issues that have appeared with the rise of social media.

  • Reply Myrah @ Coupon Mamacita September 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I love this. Teachers have such a huge impact on our kids. I think it’s amazing that their is a group like this helping parents and teachers connect.

  • Reply Kecia September 2, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I wonder if this information is freely available in the states. I have never thought to look for it, but this sounds like a great resource to find out more about your children’s teachers.

  • Reply Gingermommy September 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I really hesitated in allowing ,my kids to use social media at school. But I asked a lot of questions and found wha tthey were doing was preparing them for something many kids use at home or at a friends anyway. Now my kids have school email, talk to teachers in FB groups, use Google drive for homework etc. I like it

    • Reply Annemarie LeBlanc September 5, 2016 at 12:33 am

      I think knowing more about a teacher’s professional background gives parents peace of mind. I love how technology makes things easier, not only because of social media, but the ease of communication between parents and teachers. It is now easier to follow up on your child’s progress in class.

  • Reply Marcie W. September 2, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I feel all communication should remain between teacher and parents only until the college level. Find a Teacher seems like a great way to ensure you know who is engaging with your child.

  • Reply Brandy September 2, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I think it’s important for teachers and parent to communicate. I wonder if there is something like this in the US.

  • Reply Liz Mays September 2, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    This sounds super helpful and transparency is always nice. I do think that this would help me feel more at ease.

  • Reply Melissa September 2, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Since kids are on social networks this seems like the perfect way to keep them connected to school work and their teachers! I would love to see this in the United States!

  • Reply Theresa September 2, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Like Kecia. I’d also like to know if this information is available in the states. It’s a great way to open up lines of communication between parents and teachers!

  • Reply Kristin September 3, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Good resource, can look up teachers. Always interesting to see what I can find on the people around my children.

  • Reply Chavonne Harvey September 3, 2016 at 3:41 am

    The strict and precise guidelines make me feel comfortable with the social media interaction. I like knowing that the teachers are keeping a close eye and the parents will be informed.

  • Reply felicia September 3, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    These are all great tips. Working in the school system I see how things change so much from year to year.

  • Reply Yolanda @ SeeingItTheirWay September 3, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Teacher has such a big responsibility educating our little ones. Now with technology that burden has expanded even more it’s a great thing to have have the guidelines in place.

  • Reply Kita Bryant September 3, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    I like to keep things more in person or over the phone and I’m not comfortable with teachers having direct contact with my kids outside of school such as texting, etc. Not normal, in my opinion.

  • Reply Amber Nelson September 3, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I’m sure many teachers have had to adjust to this, especially those that have been in the school system for years and years!

  • Reply Heather September 3, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    As a parent of young children I love this idea. Wish it was in affect here in the US!

  • Reply Toni | BoulderLocavore.com September 3, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Sounds like a great way to teach kids and teens the proper use of social media and internet. I really like the idea!

  • Reply Nikki Wayne September 3, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I am not still considering this idea. Maybe when my son grow up a little bit.

  • Reply Sheena Tatum September 3, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    I’m glad there are boundaries set for students and teachers and their interactions outside school. Better to be safe!

  • Reply Rosey September 3, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Ya know, now that you mentioned it, I’m not sure if our teachers have ever been schooled on social media. I’m going to ask!

  • Reply Annemarie LeBlanc September 4, 2016 at 2:24 am

    I love this idea. Whoever conceptualized it is a genius. I wish this service was available when my kids were still young and in school. It would have helped a lot.

  • Reply Lisa Rios September 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Social medias has become a great revolution that it has become an important part of our day to day life and it is important to know both the pros & cons behind it. Teachers always have a big role to play and this is such a wonderful idea to implement.

  • Reply Toughcookiemommy September 4, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    There is definitely a fine line between allowing students to use technology and monitoring their exposure on the Internet. It definitely serves a functional purpose in the classroom.

  • Reply Ann Bacciaglia September 4, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    I think Social Media can be a great way for older kids and teachers to communicate. My Daughters school uses a website to post assignments and marks.

  • Reply Candy O September 4, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    I thnk i’s great to expose our kids to social media. I think doing it via a school program is fantastic.

  • Reply Amanda Love September 5, 2016 at 1:55 am

    Guidelines are definitely important since teachers are expected to serve as an example to their students. I think it’s great that teacher have public profiles that you can access!

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