Commitment to Learners


  • Learners

    Teachers have a professional obligation to develop and maintain professional relationships with learners based on the best interests of those learners.

  • Parents/Guardians and Family/Whānau

    Social media provides a great opportunity to collaborate and communicate with parents and whānau.

  • Society

    Teachers who model good social media use will grow learners who apply positive, respectful values in their interactions on social media platforms.

  • The Profession

    As a member of the profession you should seek and respond to opportunities to share knowledge and discuss concerns.

Teachers have a professional obligation to develop and maintain professional relationships with learners based on the best interests of those learners. A teacher who is both aware of social media and a competent and confident user will be a role model for their learners and encourage them to become good digital citizens.

  • Before having one-on-one conversations using social media, consider ethical risks that could arise. Act the same way when using social media, as you would in a face to face setting.
  • Carefully consider the tone and content of your posts or messages when using social media as a teaching tool – think about how it compares to how you present yourself in the physical learning environment.
  • When using a social media platform, consider setting up separate groups for specific teaching purposes. Keep your private and professional use of social media separate.
  • If learners contact you by social media and ask for help or advice relating to sensitive personal issues, social media isn’t the right forum for providing support. Consider redirecting them to appropriate support structures, such as the Guidance Counsellor or guidance team in their school/centre. Follow your school or centre’s policies on dealing with information divulged to you as a teacher.
  • When using social media for teaching, think about how you will monitor content so that posts and discussions remain on-topic. You may want to de-activate the group when the project or unit ends to avoid creating a space where off-topic and un-moderated chat can continue.
  • Remember that when you set up an online space such as a group or a blog, you remain the ‘owner’ or administrator. This means you should take care when delegating editing rights to others.
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Questions to think about
  1. Pinpoint the first possible instance where Mr Kingi could have identified that there may be an ethical dilemma.
  2. List all the times that alarm bells could have rung for Mr Kingi.
  3. How do you think Mr Kingi’s actions would be perceived by
    • A parent?
      A member of the community?
      His colleagues?
    • What could Mr Kingi do to protect himself better?
    • What policies should schools develop to provide a safer framework when faced with situations like this?

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Questions to think about
  1. What are the possible ethical dilemmas in this situation?
  2. What are some of the potential risks for the student?
  3. When could Mr Kere have identified that there was an ethical issue and what should he have done about it?
  4. What would the student’s father be likely to think about Mr Kere playing games online with his son?
  5. What do you think the Principal and other teaching colleagues’ attitude would be about it?

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