MAA Focus June/July 2015 : Page 7

7 Let’s wait and see. Somewhere in the middle we have a policy along the lines of: “I do accept friend requests from students, but not until after the semester is over if they are currently in one of my courses for the first time.” This allows you to share the fun of the social media experience with your students, like the “Open to All” policy, but the delay allows time for a course to end. This alleviates the pressure of students hoping that the friending process will improve their grade. We have the opportunity to connect with students sooner rather than later, but also after we have had some time to develop a rapport with them. Of course, all these policies will have exceptions based on the culture of your institution or the kinds of interactions you have with students (research students, graders, tutors, etc.). But the central point is still to have a policy and try to apply it uniformly. students doing, for example, you can make sure that your student list will not see pictures you are tagged in. You can also customize the privacy settings of any single post, so if you want to vent about students, you can restrict them from seeing it. To be vigilant about your Facebook privacy, consult LifeHacker’s always up-to-date guide at KWWS&#1d;WLQ\XUOFRP/+
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3ULYDF\ . On the other hand, it might behoove you to clean up your act on social media. Facebook is more open and public than it used to be, so you should probably behave on Facebook more often as you do in mixed company than you might among your close friends. If you are always on your best behavior, you do not have to worry about who is eavesdropping. Connect Being friends with students on Facebook is not the same as being friends in real life and need not infringe on the professional relationship between teacher and student. Don’t be afraid to be friends with your students. As long as you do it fairly and responsibly, it can both preserve your authority and enhance the relationships you already have with them. Dana C. Ernst ( dana.ernst@ nau.edu ) is an assistant professor at Northern Arizona University. Matthew Leingang ( leingang@nyu.edu ) is a clinical associate professor of mathematics at the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Ron Taylor ( rtaylor@berry.edu ) is an associate professor at Berry College. Look for them on Facebook. Facebook Lists and Privacy Settings You can use friend lists on Facebook to create sets of friends, and then set options for which lists can see which of your posts. Matthew uses a list called “Students” and adds students to that list when he accepts their friend request. The page IDFHERRNFRPKHOS IULHQGVOLVWV has up-to-date documentation on how to configure these lists. You can also configure your privacy settings to control who sees which types of automatic notifications. If you have your students in a list and you are worried one of your high school buddies is going to tag you in a picture doing the sort of thing you don’t want to see your 123RF PDDRUJIRFXVKWPOv-XQH-XO\
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