Developing a social media policy is not an easy tasks. Since the use of social media in schools is still relatively new there is a lot of room for error. I believe it is necessary to have a policy that is not too restricting of teachers and encourages the use of social media. One of my goals for this school year is to use twitter in my elementary music classroom. While developing this policy I thought about how I plan to use twitter and what policies would be helpful for teachers who have limited experience with social media.
Through my research I noticed that when social media is used in elementary schools it is usually heavily monitored by the teacher. Often students are required to compose drafts of tweets or posts and the teacher must approve them before posting. With this in mind I decided to create a policy for teachers at my school to follow that encourages the use of social media in the classroom. This policy is for teachers in my elementary school using social media with students in the classroom as well as using it for professional development.
1. Establish professional/classroom social media accounts for use in school and notify administrators of the social media that will be used.
2. Keep all posts respectful, professional, and follow the code of conduct guidelines in the school handbook.
3. Communicate with families via social media to promote school/classroom events, student work, projects, field trips and more. Use unique hashtags to link conversations.
4. Get parental permission before posting any pictures of students on social media, Also, receive verbal permission from co-workers before using their image.
5. Respect copyright laws and credit sources when posting on social media. When possible, search Creative Commons for media to use in posts.
6. Monitor students at all times when using/posting on social media. Keep all passwords to accounts private and secure.
7. Carefully review others accounts before accepting followers or following others. Be sure what they are sharing is appropriate for school and students.
8. Share private, personal or confidential information related to yourself, students, or the school district.
9. Friend or follow any current/former student who is under the age of 18 and/or is still a student within the district.
10. Retweet or share resources/posts via social media without reviewing for inappropriate or inaccurate content.
Most importantly….DO use social media in the classroom to connect with other classrooms and educators from around the world.
In order to share this policy with parents and community members it would be presented at back to school nights, a board meeting, a PTO meeting, as well as a separate community event which would showcase different ways social media can enhance learning. There would a discussion portion of each meeting to allow parents and community members to provide feedback on the policy.
Sources that reviewed while creating this policy:
Anderson, S. (2012, May 7). How to create social media guidelines for your school. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-anderson-social-media-guidelines.pdf
Fisher, C. (2012). Creating social media guidelines for educators. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/conferences/conference-daily/ac12/social-media-guidelines.aspx
Lepi, K. (2012, June 11). Crowdsourced school social media policy now available. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/school-social-media-policy/
Student Guidelines. (n.d.). Social media guidelines. Retrieved from http://socialmediaguidelines.pbworks.com/w/page/17050885/Student%20Guidelines