Delete facebook in schools?

Many schools have Facebook integrated either formally (official facebook page) or informally (Facebook sports teams or cultural groups). Of course there are usually alternative communications methods, after all, many students (Year 9) are under the age of 13 – the theoretical minimum age of Facebook users.

In a recent set of presentations from Year 9 students, many identified Snapchat and Instagram (age 13?) as being important in their digital lives  – no mention of Facebook other than it is useful as members of school sports teams and other groups. While the use of Facebook is not compulsory there will inevitably be an element of “exclusion” at play if you cannot easily receive communications and engage in the online discussion with your sports/cultural groups.

By passively encouraging students to use Facebook are schools complicit in undermining student privacy? Is this something schools need to be thinking about in the context of teachers code of professional responsibility?

Sure, students can and are switching to alternatives such as Instagram, however, these will likely present exactly the same issues…

Footnote: Anecdotal evidence suggests that after Youtube and Google, Instagram is now the third highest consumer of broadband in several colleges in New Zealand.


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