I got my first student (8th grade) following me on Twitter yesterday. I have heard lots of educators discussing students friending them on Facebook, but I do not have a Facebook account so I never thought about it too much. But I have not really heard people discuss students following them on Twitter.
Later in the evening, she sent me an @ message:
hey mr. kaechele.(: im with ________ 🙂 hows your weekend going? im gonna get told not to reply to your tweets on monday arnt i?
I did not reply as I wanted to think about this more. I have students e-mail me and I think nothing of it, and e-mail is private. Twitter is a public conversation so should I be concerned at all about “how it looks” to be communicating with a student on Twitter outside of school? If I see a student at a store the conversation we have is more private than on Twitter, but the location is public (safe).
My first impulse is to not block her and not follow back. But I also need to decide what to do about @ messages to me? I am also quite sure that she will share this with her friends and there will be more students following me soon. It does make me think about my posting a bit also. Not that I post anything questionable, but I want to make sure I do not post about anything related to my classes or my district even in a generic sense.
Technology creates new questions of appropriateness. What do the rest of you do about students following you on Twitter?