I'm still new to this all but I was surprised by this story at BBC News
about a teacher in trouble for using Twitter at some point during the school day from his or her mobile phone and commenting in a very general way about his or her classes.
Obviously students shouldn't be accessing social networks during class time without teacher supervision but these networks, Twitter included, can be great tools for learning if used with proper guidance. So why would a school issue a blanket ban on the use of social networks, by faculty and staff as well as students, without any exception?
Teachers shouldn't be updating personal blogs and sending out personal tweets during periods when they are actively teaching a class, but do the schools have the right to clamp down on teachers during breaks between classes, lunch times, and free periods? I know there are always lessons to be planned and papers to be graded but why can't you get that done and still update a blog or send out a tweet without coming off as unprofessional?
Teachers should never publicly release private information about identifiable students but in this case not even the BBC, one of the most resourceful news organizations in the world, could scour this teacher's Twitter account and find anything more damning than "Have three Asperger's boys in S1 class - never a dull moment! Always offer an interesting take on things." This is the only example from the article that I'd consider to be over the privacy line and barely at that. The other comments, such as the one wondering if a certain class is as sick of their teacher as he/she is of them, might be inappropriate and unprofessional but clearly raise no privacy concerns.
Schools should be allowed to limit teacher access from school-owned computers in the same way other employers limit access to non-work related websites. Or try to. But what you do with your own damn phone should be your own damn business.
Am I missing anything?