Argument: Exclusive teacher-student communications have edu value

Issue Report: Teacher-student friendships on Facebook


“Missouri ‘Facebook Law’ Limits Teacher-Student Interactions Online, Draws Criticism And Praise.” Huffington Post. August 3rd, 2011: “critics argue that a student struggling with ‘Hamlet,’ for instance, misses a learning opportunity when he or she sees a teacher on IM and can’t send a message. Or a student who is too shy to raise his hand in class might prefer to email his teacher, but might not feel comfortable knowing his parents or a member of the administration might be reading the email as well.Many who work in and study education fear the bill is reaching too far. ‘This concept of teacher immediacy (approachability, availability and warmth) has been widely studied,’ Cheri Simonds, a professor of Communications at Illinois State University who has written a textbook on how teachers can effectively communicate with students, said in an email. “Facebook is an avenue for establishing immediacy with students on their level.’ According to Simonds, instant access in an educational context has been shown to improve student motivation and cognitive learning. Though her Facebook research has focused on college students, Simonds said that when used properly, the educational benefits of social media are applicable across age groups.”

Minnesota Governor Jay Nixon, according to the AP, has called for the law’s repeal: “In a digital world, we must recognize that social media can be an important tool for teaching and learning.”[1]