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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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Ontario College of Teachers free e-newsletter, The Standard

Subscribe to the Ontario College of Teachers free electronic newsletter to raise your awareness about the College’s role in Ontario’s education system. Stay up-to-date and informed the easy way!

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.