Frequently Asked Questions
Here you’ll find answers to questions that we are commonly asked. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please send us an email.
A colleague has shared something inappropriate online. What should I do?
If your school/centre has a policy on social media use, check and see whether it covers this type of situation. It is likely that you will need to talk to your professional leader, particularly if there is no policy or it is unclear about what you should do in this situation.
Should I be friends with my students’ parents on Facebook?
There is no clear answer to this question. Before accepting friend requests, think about the risks and educate yourself on the limitations and safeguards available on the social media platforms you use (check the links section for links to relevant information on the most popular platforms). Be mindful that information is easily shared between friends and unless the appropriate privacy settings are in place, information can be passed on to friends of friends.
I’m interested in starting a blog, but my school/centre doesn’t think it’s a good idea. How can I encourage it to get onboard with social media?
Try to find out why your school/centre is reluctant to engage in social media. If you can identify what the barriers are and discuss together how these might be removed, you may be able to come to an informed decision about what tools could be useful for teaching and learning in your school/centre. You could also have a look at some of the stories on this website from other teachers to see what risks they identified and how they successfully used social media.
What is an ethical dilemma?
Following the introduction of New Zealand Teachers Council’s Code of Ethics in 2005, the Council ran a series of workshops. These workshops considered how to identify and solve an ethical dilemma. During those workshops an ethical dilemma was defined as:
A situation an individual encounters in the workplace for which there is more than one possible solution, each carrying a strong moral justification. A dilemma requires a person to choose between two alternatives, each of which has some benefits but also some costs (Feeney and Freeman, 1999, p.24)
My students have set up an abusive page about me on Facebook. What can I do?
It is always best to avoid using social media to respond to negative comments, so contact Facebook directly and request to have the page removed. Netsafe have also put together some guidance on dealing with this situation. If you are not able to have the page removed quickly, you should discuss the issue with your professional leader.
What can I do about cyber-bullying?
You can learn about digital citizenship and think about ways to teach safe and appropriate online behaviour to your students. The teaching and learning dimension of the E-Learning Planning Framework recognises the importance of digital citizenship in e-learning. Netsafe also provides guidance on the attributes of good digital citizenship, and has produced resources specifically focused on cyber-bullying.
How can I talk to parents about social media use in my school/centre?
When talking to parents/whānau, you might like to consider providing information in the following way:
- What – explain the platform and how it works
- How – explain how access works, who has it, how content can be shared, what the criteria are for determining what is acceptable to upload, and who decides what to upload
- Why – what are the learning intentions
- When – what will the lifespan of the project be (i.e. if it is a website, how long will pictures and examples of student work be online for? If a group set up on a social networking platform, what is the duration of the unit or topic?)
- It’s also a good idea to get feedback from parents/whānau about how they (and their children) use social media, and which platforms they are already familiar with.
Teachers have a professional obligation to develop and maintain professional relationships with learners based on the best interests of those learners.
Social media provides a great opportunity to collaborate and communicate with parents and whānau.
Teachers who model good social media use will grow learners who apply positive, respectful values in their interactions on social media platforms.
As a member of the profession you should seek and respond to opportunities to share knowledge and discuss concerns.