Rotorua teacher Annemarie Hyde says social media is an educational tool. Mrs Hyde is the deputy principal at Mokoia Intermediate and is an avid Twitter user. She has been using the micro-blogging site for about a year and says it is much more informative and less dangerous than Facebook.
Mrs Hyde, which is also her Twitter "handle'', says she doesn't think there is a huge amount of guidelines surrounding Twitter use for teachers and says it seems to be a safer option than Facebook because people are giving less information away.
She describes Facebook as a place where people go to talk about what they ate for breakfast. "I don't need to be friends with my children on Facebook. I don't need to see what someone ate that day,'' she says.
"Twitter is much more informative without revealing too much of yourself.''
She says a lot of the people she follows on Facebook have similar interests to her or are people she is genuinely interested in.
"I think it is good to have a real face as your profile picture rather than an avatar because people do pay attention to that,'' she says. ``If someone follows me I will look at their picture and their profile to decide if I want them to follow me or if I want to follow back.''
Mrs Hyde says one of the good things about Twitter is it is simple to block people from looking at your profile or your tweets.
She says the micro-blogging site is a great resource which teachers should utilise. ``It is a fantastic way of getting professional development,'' she says. ``I can ask a question and within minutes I can have an answer from someone who is on the other side of the earth.''
Mrs Hyde says she doesn't think Twitter is suitable for intermediate aged children but says there are other tools including Moodle, which is good to teach children about micro- blogging and social media. ``The internet is their world, they are going to go there and they need to know what it's about.''