Social Media & Teaching

  • #UKEdChat session 579
  • Many teachers feel ill-equipped to deal with the darker side of social media.
  • There has been an uptick in the number of teachers being harassed on or with social media.
  • Click here to view the tweet archive.

Social media has many benefits for teachers, and we at UKEdChat, a community synonymous with the teaching community online, have often written about the positive aspects of networking as an educator. However, social media can have a dark side for teachers.

There have been high profile reports about pupils using social media, primarily TikTok, to share unkind, abusive and potentially embarrassing content of teachers and ‘classroom antics’ on social media. Many of the incidents seem to be based on ‘challenges’ which pupils are encouraged to complete and share, causing distress and anxiety to teachers in the process.

For a number of years, many schools have chosen to ban mobile phones in some way, and this latest spate of incidents will likely increase this. Some schools go further, and in a recent episode of BBC Digital Planet, one school leader stated that they have deployed systems to log the keystrokes or pupils to support wider online wellbeing.

In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 18th November 2021 at 8pm(UK), we discussed how the community feels about this topic, what measures schools and individual teachers can take to protect themselves and others from abusive social media, and where is the balance between monitoring and privacy.


  1. Do you generally feel positive or negative about social media as a teacher?
  2. What are your thoughts about the reports of pupils uploading videos of teachers to TikTok?
  3. What measured approach can schools take to protect teachers from social media harassment by pupils?
  4. What can teachers do to protect themselves from social media harassment by pupils?
  5. What would be the response in your school if a pupil uploaded embarrassing video of a teacher to social media?
  6. What are the (a) pros and (b) cons of schools completely banning pupils’ own devices from the school site?
  7. Pupils have been victims of social media harassment by other pupils for years, but has been ignored in many cases. Now it is aimed at teachers, will it finally stop?
  8. While in school, should schools monitor the of pupils’ online activity with key-loggers, cameras, web history etc? What is the balance between protection and privacy?

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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