I created a social media policy for students. The guidelines are:
1. Use Good Judgment
- When posting on the school’s social media sites, remember that you are not only representing yourself, but you are also representing the school district.
- When posting, ask yourself if what you post will make yourself, teachers, administration, and parents proud. If the answer is “yes”, then post. If the answer is “no”, then do not post.
2. Be Respectful
- Social media is used by a wide variety of people. When posting and responding to others, remember the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated.
- As we share, collaborate and discuss, remember that anyone can read your post. It is important to be respectful of other’s work and opinions.
- Be sure to post only school-related topics and stay on-task to your assignment.
- If you are not sure how to proceed with a social media assignment, consult a teacher or administrator.
- Be honest and show respect in your posts. Always be polite.
3. Be Safe
- Use first names only
- Do not tag names in images
- Do not give out personal information about yourself or others
- Only use the class social media account
- Only follow educational or other class sites or what your teacher directs
- If posting about activities, post AFTER they happen. Do not post about future activities.
- When on a field trip, do not post details about the trip (time, location…)
Marich (2016) stated that students should use first names only and do not tag images with names. She also recommended to only use the class account and to only follow educational feeds (p.68).
4. Be Responsible
- Only post about school-related work
- Be conscious of your audience-parents, teachers, principals, students, community
- These are school social media sites, so only post about educational topics
- Always use your first name (no pseudonyms or fake names)
- Use social networking tools to enhance learning and your education
- Post to improve and strengthen your social media presence in a positive way
- Report any negative behavior or cyberbullying to your teacher or administrator
- Follow all copyright laws if posting images (including school images)
- DO NOT post images of students unless students have signed the district photo form (check with your teacher before posting)
Reed (2016) shares, “At the beginning of the year, I have families give permission for their child’s face and work to be shared in this way. Although the District photography-form technically covers me, I like to be careful and have a form I can physically touch (our district forms are turned over at the beginning of the year)” (n.p.).
6. Be a Quality Communicator
- Be patient and give people time to respond back to a post
- Always reply to a post
- Use a polite tone and words
- Ask for clarification or feedback
- Use “please” and “thank you”
7. Be Professional
- Always proofread before posting
- Check grammar and spelling
- Make sure to read all sources before posting them
- If you make a mistake, fix it immediately
- Apologize if needed
- Let a teacher or administrator know of the mistake immediately
8. Be Private/Confidentiality
- Do not post any personal information about yourself, other students, staff, or parents
- Personal information can include items such as full names or anything else that would identify a person such as birthdays, phone numbers, or addresses
- Do not share grades
- Do not share schedules
- Set privacy settings and check regularly
- Do not post images of you or others unless you ask a teacher or administrator
- Keep private conversations private and off school social networking tools
- Only educational posts are allowed. Remember-everyone can read your comments
9. Follow Copyright Laws
- Follow all copyright and fair use laws
- Give credit and cite sources
- Linking to a resource is good practice
- When in doubt, ask a teacher or administrator
10. Be Yourself
- Share your work
- Share your thoughts
- Share what you know
- Share your opinions in a productive and respectful way
- Make sure the ideas, thoughts, and opinions you express are your own
- Make sure not to write inflammatory remarks
Feedback from Stakeholders
There are many ways to share and get feedback from students, parents, teachers, staff, and community members when using social media in a learning environment. Social networking is a way for educators to share student work and student success with parents and the community. According to Friedman (2019), “…Twitter is more than just a social media platform. It’s also a professional learning resource, a tool to communicate with students’ families, and a way to showcase student achievements” (n.p). Friedman (2019) also added how administration can share staff appreciation on social media sites. School events and announcements can be delivered to the community through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Schools can acquire feedback from parents and the communities through the comments page and holding virtual meetings. Friedeman (2019) shared from a principal, “…the initial purpose of his school’s Facebook account was to celebrate the successes of the students and staff, parents may also respond, comment, and post statements. As a result, he has held virtual office hours at night where parents and other caregivers can ask questions and offer feedback” (n.p.). Teachers can also share and get feedback from parents by asking Mom, Dad, or a guardian to follow students’ social media. Fransen (2017) suggested when using Twitter in the classroom, “I also asked for help from parents in monitoring and guiding their children in using the account” (n.p.).
There are many creative ways to use social networking in an educational setting. Giving and receiving feedback is a critical component to the success of using these social media tools. “It takes a village to raise a child” (n.d.) is a fitting phrase for the effort that must come from the community. The online environment needs to be active and safe in order for a child’s online educational experience to thrive and grow.
Friedman, J. (2019, April 16). How and Why to Use Social Media as a School or District Leader. Retrieved from https://www.hmhco.com/blog/how-and-why-to-use-social-media-as-a-school-or-district-leader
How This Teacher Uses Twitter with Elementary Students. (2017, February 27). Simplek12_. https://www.simplek12.com/social-media/twitter-with-elementary-students/
Marich, H.(2016). Twitter in the Elementary Classroom: A Teacher’s Journey. Language Arts, 94(1), 67-70.
NYC Department of Education. (2013). Student Social Media Guidelines. Retrieved from https://echalk-slate-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/private/schools/2208/site/fileLinks/17a67d5b-ac27-41a3-a2a0-2b365e99e894?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJSZKIBPXGFLSZTYQ&Expires=1900637382&response-cache-control=private%2C%20max-age%3D31536000&response-content-disposition=%3Bfilename%3D%22Student_Social_MediaGuidelines_finalv3_20140128.pdf%22&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&Signature=ruKksV5CMoAH0InjByKgiugsk6k%3D
Private School Social Media Policy | Sewickley Academy. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sewickley.org/policies/social-media-policy#
Reed, C. (2016, January 31). Twitter in the Classroom. The Brown Bag Teacher. Retrieved from https://brownbagteacher.com/twitter-in-classroom/
Social Media Guidelines & Best Practices for Students: Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://smfschools.org/school/stow-munroe-falls-high-school/parent-resources/social-media-guidelines-best-practices-students
Where does the phrase “It takes a village” come from? – Quora. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Where-does-the-phrase-It-takes-a-village-come-from