“Social Media – Boon or Nemesis” by Paul K. Fox is a PMEA webinar offering “the good, the bad, and the ugly” on using social media with students. We will explore the pros and cons of emerging online technology for veteran music teachers, new or pre-service educators, and even retirees. The presentation will touch-on various legal issues, the ethical framework necessary to guide teacher decision-making and the avoidance of unacceptable “appearances or actions,” and precautions for the use of digital communications and social networks. We will focus on the safety, wellness, and privacy concerns of both student and teacher, cultivation of “best practices” in meeting our fiduciary obligations and moral professionalism, and the enhancement of teacher efficacy, reputations, and the public’s trust and confidence. We will target discussion of these essential questions developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Professional Standards and Practices Commission:
- What are the professional expectations of teachers with regard to their “electronic” interactions with students?
- Why and how should teachers control their public “brand” or persona?
- How do teachers’ use of emerging technologies such as social networking, cell phones, etc., present challenges to maintaining appropriate student-teacher boundaries?
- What are some of the potential consequences for inappropriate use of technology?
Finally, surveying a myriad of resources, several examples of “safe social media” and effective strategies for using emerging technology in the music classroom will be shared.