There are a few interesting articles recently, one from Tampa Bay’s local news channel 10 and the other from the Mundelein Review in Illinois: the local school districts are banning or discouraging communication between students and teachers via social networks and instead are leaning on Moodle and school website portals to provide all modes of communication between the community, teachers, parents and students.
While the use of social network sites (such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace) in schools is a contentious issue, I’m curious what general opinion about student-teacher communication in schools looks like today (via Moodle or not).
Can and does Moodle provide an adequate communication venue for students, parents and teachers? What Moodle tool works best? What specifically might it be missing?¹
While banning communication through Facebook (or other social networks) may prevent otherwise positive and learning-focused communications, I can see where the school (and it’s legal team) might be coming from.
By strengthening the walled-garden that is their school’s website portal and LMS, its possible for a school to get the best of both worlds (i.e. that is, stem potentially dangerous communications before they happen and promote adequate, informal and formal educational discussions between students, parents and teachers)?
¹ Moodle 2.0 provides a much more robust communication tool for students and teachers (specifically enabling a inbox and message system). I think that it will change how many schools view Moodle in terms of providing an adequate communication channel [http://docs.moodle.org/en/Moodle_2.0_release_notes#Messaging]