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The purpose of this article is to examine the potential risks of bringing social networking sites (SNS) into the classroom through the lens of Moor's (1999) just-consequentialist theory. Moor compares the setting of ethical policies in the fast-changing world of technology to a sailor trying to set a course while sailing. His analogy could not be more appropriate for educators' attempts to cope with the question of online social networking in schools. Educators must weigh the potential advantages of using SNSs in educational settings against the risks that such inclusion would entail. If the proper precautions are not taken, student safety, privacy, and psychological well-being are at risk. Additionally, administrators risk school reputation and legal liability. Teacher education programs must accept the responsibility of ensuring that teachers enter their classrooms with an understanding of both the transformative capabilities of new technologies and the risks that they may present. By highlighting the advantages of education-specific platforms in terms of controlling potential risks, teacher educators will likely facilitate increased teacher competence and confidence in incorporating the technology that is vital for student learning in the 21st century.


This article was originally published in Issues in Teacher Education, volume 22, issue 2, in 2013.

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Caddo Gap Press. This material may not be reproduced, distributed, or sold without specific permission of Caddo Gap Press.



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