OMG: Social networking awkward for school board

Officials search for appropriate Internet use

Facebook contributed to Tuesday’s meeting of the Durango School District 9-R board, as members spent the evening discussing ways social-networking websites might benefit and be safely incorporated into public education.

Currently, social-networking sites Facebook, Myspace, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr cannot be accessed by 9-R wireless Internet and are not incorporated in the curriculum.

James Torres, executive director of educational technology, said, “But the sites of tomorrow will be different.”

Board member Kristy Rodri said, “In the classroom, you have control over the students and the curriculum, whereas with Facebook, you don’t have that kind of control.”

Board member Stephanie Moran said, “So many people use Facebook like they’re talking in their living room.”

“Or at a bar,” Rodri said.

Torres cited Edmodo, an educationally bent social networking site, as a safe and easy way teachers could communicate with students, before reminding the board that, as always with the Internet, “The question is: Is this too restrictive or not restrictive enough?”

Board members agreed social-networking sites should be used in classrooms as a way to prepare students for 21st-century technology, but the Internet remains a double-edged sword to educators, and working out the details of proper Internet use will be taken up at future meetings.