"I had a student flip me the bird last year and it was because it was not on school property that it went unmentioned. So what if a student writes an inappropriate posting on FB? ... One mentioned (in a comment on a YouTube video of the school's chorus concert) that her parents often left her home alone. We have to be very careful what applications we use and encourage students to use since putting ourselves and them out there is like opening a Pandora's box."
Isn't this actually *more* of a reason why we should teach the use of these resources in school? I'm not an elementary school teacher, but we still teach stuff like stranger-safety in the younger grades, right? We teach about drugs and alcohol and safer sex at later ages. We teach students the dangers of drinking at prom or graduation.
We all admit, the internet is not going to disappear. We are not going to stop kids from using social networking sites-- trust me, most kids can find their way even around blocks and firewalls very quickly. And no, we cannot control what they say or post on those sites when they are on their own.
So why aren't we teaching internet safety? Why don't we have classes where we say something like, "Write a blog post about you doing something (made up) really stupid, and then Google it six weeks later to see how many places it has been re-posted"? Why aren't we showing kids how to use privacy features to control who sees their information, showing them why not to post their real names or personally identifiable information... etc?
We teach stranger safety and sex ed because we know we can't stop kids from eventually leaving the house on their own. If we can't stop them from using the internet, isn't it reasonable to teach them how to do it safely, instead of pretending it doesn't exist?