We are starting a series of teacher spotlights on educators making a difference in the classroom. Through innovative ideas and creative uses of digital content, the Teacher Spotlight posts will highlight educators that inspire their students (and us) as they pursue education excellence and equity through innovation.
Cathy Nelson’s January 3rd blog post, Where Do We Draw the Line?, is a must read.  Her post discusses technology and social media tools and includes her actual IM conversation with a former student via Facebook:
Former student via Facebook (FSVFB):  Stressing over the project she has to do tonight :/ I dont know how to flippin cite a poem and I dont know what a friggin critical resource is. English two SUCKS. Why cant I be back in Mrs.____’s class? Ya know where I just barely passed without doing anything? Those were the days :)
  • (FSVFB Grandmother) don’t be such a “Wendy-Whiner”!!!! :) 31 minutes ago · Like Unlike
  • (FSVFB) Grandma, do you understand how much work this is? im gonna die :p   27 minutes ago · Like Unlike
  • Cathy Nelson: scdiscus.org–email me for login name/password sweetie!   10 minutes ago Like Unlike
  • Cathy Nelson: Choose Literature Resources from Gale (from the A-Z List of Resources)    7 minutes ago · Like Unlike
  • (FSVFB) Alrighttt.    6 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
  • Cathy Nelson: Who is you VBLF? (Very best librarian friend) LOL.    5 minutes ago · Like Unlike
  • (FSVFB) Well of course you! Haha :) 4 minutes ago · Like Unlike
  • Cathy Nelson PS if any of your friends need that login or pw, share in an email. The organizers of the site dont want the info posted in public online places (in an effort to keep it free for SC folks.) Since I kind of like it myself free (it’s about $1000 per database) I try to follow their guidelines.   about a minute ago · Like Unlike
  • (FSVFB) Alrightyyy will do! I like it free too haha. Thanks again! :) a few seconds ago · Like Unlike

A little later in the thread this popped up

  • (A different FS) FSVFB how bout text me the discus password if ya would please   18 minutes ago · Like

You can read the entire post on Cathy Nelson’s Professional Thoughts on Techno Tuesday blog.

Nelson uses her personal experience to ask questions about the policies of our school districts. Her argument about Facebook user numbers is balanced by a recognition that positive modeling by teachers is a powerful tool for teaching students how to use technology. She is discussing an issue that will not be going away anytime soon, and will need to be resolved.

Teachers are already leveraging technology to help their students, and Nelson captures the frustration teachers have with decision makers who refuse to embrace these technologies.   Don’t miss this blog post written by a teacher who is an example for every educator, and a wake up call for every education policy and decision maker.

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