|Friending teachers online keeps students connected|
|Written by Brittany Tepper, Daily Vidette Features Reporter|
|Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:37|
With more than a billion users, Facebook has revolutionized the way people stay connected. Chances are your mom, grandma and even your pet may be surfing the social networking site. One demographic that students often forget about are teachers. Some may cringe at the thought of adding their professors, but friending your favorite professors can have some large benefits.
Social networking sites are exactly what they advertise to be — a networking tool. One of the largest benefits of friending teachers is the networking opportunities friending may present.
Unlike LinkedIn or Twitter, Facebook has become largely universal. Facebook is the most used social networking tool. Not only are teachers on the site, but often times all of their friends are too.
“I consider it a part of my networking tool. If I know there is somebody who is just graduating and moving to Los Angeles, and I know what they are interested in, I can say, ‘Hey I know a couple of people on Facebook. Let me connect you with them,’” Travis Stern, instructional assistant professor in the School of Theatre and Dance, said.
Friending teachers may also help create lasting relationships. Stern thinks of the networking site as a support system. He said the site allows him to learn about what students are involved in. Having teachers support your work, especially for performance-based majors, is important.
“I get excited to see what students are working on, and what they are passionate about. There are so many shows that go on here. Some I wouldn’t know about if it wasn’t shared on Facebook … It also allows me to ask before class how things are going with students,” Stern said.
With some of the obvious benefits, students are still hesitant about friending their teachers.
“I probably would be very hesitant if my teacher requested me. If it
was a class thing I would do it, but if it was anything else I would
have to really think about it,” Erin Lentz, senior visual communication
One of the biggest concerns of students and teachers is privacy.
Many fear that the line between teacher and student may be crossed.
Facebook has recognized that not every friend should have the same
viewing ability, and privacy settings have been put into place. It is
the student’s responsibility to set them accordingly.
“I think most students today are savvy enough. If they are going to
do something, they know the privacy settings so I won’t see it,” Stern
Overall, Facebook can be a beneficial tool for both students and teachers.
The site can help students and teachers stay connected online as well as create relationships.
“I think that communication is a two-way street where not only we get to see students as people, but they also get to see us as people outside of the classroom. Not just the guy who will lecture boringly for 75 minutes,” Stern said.