Social media changes student-teacher interaction

Social media changes student-teacher interaction

Photo Credit: Allison Long/The Kansas City Star/MCT

Sending too many messages is one way to get blocked by Facebook. John VanPelt, a teacher who lives in Lee's Summit, Mo., recently posted on his newly restored Facebook page about being photographed for this story.

December 27, 2011

Ninon Becquart

It’s no secret that technology, specifically social media, has caused a huge change in the way that we live. Just take the fact that the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) is telling teachers not to add their students on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace. Social media never existed before, so these boundaries for student-teacher interaction had never been defined in this way. I’m glad that this issue has been brought up, however. It’s an interesting question– how far can student-teacher relationships go?

Certain kinds of interactions are obviously inappropriate and should be illegal, which is why laws exist to protect students from them. But there are also gray areas, such as adding students on Facebook. Several teachers I know have managed to use Facebook as a helpful tool for generating discussion, answering questions about assignments, giving students reminders, and sharing school-related content. I’m friends with a few teachers on Facebook, and have found it to be very convenient for discussing class topics or asking questions that I only realize I need to ask once I get home.

The thing that bothers FUSD, and which I agree can be awkward for students as well, is all of the access that I have to my teachers’ personal lives. I can see their relationship statuses, find pictures of parties and vacations, and read the wall posts that their friends write to them. It’s interesting to realize that my teachers have an outside life and are human beings just like the rest of us, but this view also changes my relationship with them somewhat. Teachers also probably have a different image of me because of the statuses that I choose to put up and the pictures that I choose to upload online.

Should student-teacher relationships be so casual and friendly? Or should students and teachers compartmentalize their private lives in order for teachers to maintain a professional distance? I’m not sure.

It’s great to have a friendship with my teachers and know about them more personally, but we can’t forget that the friendships we have with teachers are different from those that we have with our classmates. Over the next few years, FUSD will have to define how exactly students and teachers can interact online.

Santa Claws event raises money and awareness

December 20, 2011

Janel Quoc and Ninon Becquart

The Santa Claws event, hosted by Petsmart, benefitted Furry Friends Rescue. Owners brought their pets on the weekend of Dec. 10 and 11 and dressed them up to take a picture with Santa. Money raised from the sale of these photographs went towards funding veterinary bills.

Video taken by Janel Quoc and Ninon Becquart.

Video editing by Janel Quoc and Ninon Becquart.

Music from, and is “Holiday Greetings” by Still Time.


Mystery culprit cuts computer wires

January 29, 2010

Bach Phan

Somebody or something cut the fiber optics wires to the network in November. This is what many people expected when students in the Fremont building of the school could not sign into the school network. This was especially damaging because the computer classes are held in there. Computer teacher James Briano and freshman Vanessa Fernandez found rat droppings that were scattered around the room after Fernandez and Briano went into the network room to assess the damage. They also caught a glimpse of the mouse on the computer equipment. A couple days later, sophomore Nina Becquart and her friends managed to capture the mouse inside a garbage bin and let it outside.

“I was scared… it was gross,” Fernandez said.

Math teacher Mark Clevenger, who manages the school computer network that runs throughout the school, further inspected the damage to officially determine if the fiber optics were down. His take on the situation was very different from Briano and his students. He believes that somebody broke into the computer room and sabotaged the wires because the computer room is locked at all times.

“The cut marks [were] too clean to be rats.” Clevenger said.

Four wires were cut very close to the plug and uniformly. If the wires were further along their length, they would have to have been replaced. A wire that runs from the elevator all the way down to the business office, which would have been very costly to the school. The wires, however, were reconnected with another set of plugs. After Clevenger had informed the school that the wires had been damaged, the school contacted an outside contractor to come down and fix the cut wires. To this day, nobody is one hundred percent sure if the it was a person or a mouse that cut the wire.

Computer students had to change their curriculum while the network was being fixed. Briano’s class watched a movie and looked at parts of a computer, of which they would be quizzed on. Students would have been doing Excel work if the servers had not interrupted their session.