In an ever-growing world full of bureaucracy, sometimes we tend to question if all the rules, guidelines, and policies are really necessary. However, when we take a second to think about WHY they are in place, a great deal of clarity and understanding emerges, and hopefully, this appears before we do anything to harm ourselves or, in this case, our digital selves.
In examining how to create a set of guidelines for educational social media use, I have created the set of online parameters given below to use within secondary classrooms.
Due to the vastness and availability of the Internet and social media tools, students can reach a broader audience, which entails responsibility from all users. Students in the classroom should adhere to the following guidelines:
- Students participating in the district’s 1:1 Initiative are responsible for their online behavior and must comply with the Student Handbook, Code of Conduct, and the Internet Acceptable Use Policy.
- Be respectful and responsible when online. Please follow appropriate netiquette guidelines.
- Present your best social media presence by posting thoughtfully. Be positive nd avoid posting disparaging, discriminatory, or confrontational remarks/behaviors.
- Adopt and maintain careful privacy settings for all your social media accounts. Be sure to review and adjust accordingly on a regular basis.
- Respect classroom instruction time and do not access social media for personal reasons during school hours unless directed otherwise.
- Practice online safety. Do not share your personal information or passwords with others through social media posts or messaging.
- Follow copyright rules. Verify that images and content are designated as permissible for your purposes, and please be sure that any images or content you choose to use are properly attributed to avoid plagiarism.
- Avoid content on social media that promotes profane, obscene, illegal, violent, or dangerous activity. If you mistakenly access inappropriate material, immediately report it to your teacher.
- Think before posting on social networks. Digital footprints last, so be mindful of your online habits.
- Remember that you are representing yourself, the school, and the district. Present yourself as capable, resourceful, and supportive through all social media channels used for educational purposes.
Remember that access to technology resources in the classroom are a privilege, not a right, and they may revoked if abused.
Guidelines are necessary and seemingly ubiquitous, but often we take for granted the process of creating them. It is an involved process requiring the consideration of an organization’s culture, needs, and future direction coupled with feedback from stakeholders.
This list would serve students for the entirety of their secondary years, but before implementing any new set of rules in a public setting, it would be wise to seek feedback and input from all stakeholders involved. Often one person can consider many angles, but just asking one person is rather shortsighted. Asking others who may be affected is not only an effective strategy, but it can bring issues or aspects to light that had not been previously considered. In this case, I would seek input from faculty, administrators, parents, and a selection of students. It would be very easy to gain input from either a survey tool for easy data analytics, but I would also like to gather a few persons involved in providing this data for a focus group-style meeting to discuss the wording as well as the way to implement them for the new year.
11 Sample Education BYOT Policies To Help You Create Your Own. (2017, July 6). from http://www.teachthought.com/uncategorized/11-sample-education-byot-policies-to-help-you-create-your-own/
Anderson, S. (n.d.). How to create social media guidelines for your school. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-anderson-social-media-guidelines.pdf
Athens City Schools. (n.d.). Digital citizenship. Retrieved July 12, 2018, from https://www.acs-k12.org/Page/480