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Will Missouri 'Facebook Law' spook teachers away from social media?

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Facebook officials say they've launched an investigative probe of the Missouri law, noting that their site can be is a "valuable educational tool." "It is imperative that this law does not limit schools' and teachers' ability to use technology in this way to educate Missouri's students," Facebook spokesman Tucker Bounds wrote in an email to Fox News.

Teachers migrating online to meet their students where they (virtually) hang out is a trend that's been growing for years. For many teachers, it's a powerful new way to communicate outside of class, whether it be about projects or field trips. Studies have found it can boost educational opportunities and make teachers approachable in ways that help students connect with teachers and improve learning.

College students who accessed their professors' Facebook pages "anticipated higher levels of motivation and affective learning," says a new study in the journal Communication Education, which also warned of "possible negative associations between teacher use of Facebook and teacher credibility."

Parents should encourage teachers opportunities to meet students in these virtual spaces, driven by collaboration and knowledge-sharing, say some social media experts.

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