Social Media Policies

To the best of my knowledge my school and county do not have a social media policy in place. There have definitely been discussion regarding social media, but they seem to be focused on how appropriate use of social media by teachers, or bullying issues between students. It seems like as social media is becoming more and more prevalent a specific policy outlining the counties social media rules and guidelines is important to have. With that being said, since there is no county-wide policy in effect now, I am going to focus more on guidelines I would like to follow for my school or classroom rather than the county as a whole.

For any policy to be effective there must be buy-in from the stakeholders. It is necessary for my students, their parents, and the school administration to all have a part in developing and enforcing the policy. Ideally I think it would be best to have a meeting with parents, students, and administration to collectively create and agree upon the policy. Without support of parents and administration it would almost impossible to enforce any policy, no matter how good the intentions. It would also be important to regularly review and update the policy as social media is constantly changing and the policy needs to be relevant. Policies will be enforced in accordance with the faculty and student handbooks.

The following guidelines are my proposed Social Media Policy for my school:

  1. Faculty and staff using social media for school or classroom purposes need to maintain professional social media accounts separate from their personal ones.
  1. Official school or student club/organization accounts are permitted but must have the approval of the administration and any use of the account must be monitored and approved by the club/organization’s advisor. This includes sports teams, in which case the coach is considered the advisor.
  1. Faculty or staff are responsible for maintaining a professional appearance when using social media, this includes checking for spelling/grammar mistakes as well as appropriate content.
  1. All social media accounts should be identifiable to prevent anonymity and increase transparency.
  1. Any content determined to be inappropriate will be removed and disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the faculty and student handbook.
  1. Any type of harassment/bullying will be investigated and handled in accordance with the faculty and student handbook.
  1. Any dishonest or unethical behavior will be investigated and handled in accordance with the faculty and student handbook.
  1. All users of social media need to be knowledgeable of privacy settings to protect personal information.
  1. All users of social media should be cognizant of protecting the security of social media accounts by creating strong passwords and routinely changing passwords.
  1. All users of social media must respect copyright laws when posting content, and proper attribution should be provided to give credit to the original author or creator.
  1. Careful thought and review should be given to any content posted online as once something is online it is almost impossible to remove it completely.

Resources

Anderson, S. (2012, May 7). How to create social media guidelines for your school. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/how-to-create-social-media-guidelines-school

Anderson, S. (2012). Social media guidelines. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-guidelines-steven-anderson

Hagerstown Community College. Social media at HCC. Retrieved from http://www.hagerstowncc.edu/about/public-information/social-media

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Online Communities

This week’s assignment was to join at least four new online communities. The ones I have chosen are two EdWeb communities (Champion Creativity and Adaptive Math Learning), three Google+ communities (Mathematics Education K-12, Technology in Education, and Educators on Google+), LinkedIn, and Delicious.  From the limited time I’ve had so far to try each one of these communities Google+ is my favorite by far!  I also had no idea that LinkedIn offered groups to join, I always thought it was just a place to post your professional profile and connect with other professionals.

I posted 3 new links on Delicious, commented in the EdWeb communities, shared links or posted comments in the Google+ groups, and posted comments to the LinkedIn groups.  Definitely outside my comfort zone to be a participant rather than a “lurker”, but this course is really helping me get out there and get connected!

delicious 1,2,3 edweb 2 edweb google+ post google+ post2 google+ post3 google+ post4 google+ post5 linkedin linkedin2 webinar 5

Digital Footprint

As a teacher I constantly hear my students talk about what they’re doing on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and anything and everything else, they are constantly posting, tweeting, uploading content about themselves and their friends. I grew up at the time when computers and cell phones were gaining popularity, but until college I never had much access to it. I grew up on a farm, we had dial-up Internet, no cable/satellite, and no cell phone. I never had the chance to document my whole life and share it with everyone, and I’m glad for that. I was a good kid and never got into trouble, but I can imagine I might not be thrilled with some of the things that could have been online if I was growing up today.

When I Google myself, both my maiden and married names, almost nothing comes up. There was a Whitepages listing, the faculty page for my school, a few old newspapers articles from the local paper for things like graduation, and my wordpress blog and LinkedIn profile I had to make for a previous class. Definitely nothing I mind being out there for everyone to see, and I’m glad about that. It took some time and trying several different things with my name, like my old high school, the high school where I teach, my hometown, etc., and I had to go through several pages before finding them, none were on the first page of the Google search. I know having an online presence can be a good thing nowadays, but I’m ok with there not being much about me online, and I’m definitely glad that there is nothing out there (at least that I’m aware of) that I regret.

I like that I have basically a blank slate to create the digital footprint that I want, and being nearly 30 I have the maturity to make sure it will benefit and not hinder me. For my students now, and my daughter in the future, I’m nervous for them. They don’t necessarily have the maturity and foresight to see how the things they’re doing and sharing today will affect them in the future. Even before my daughter was born my husband and I have already had several conversations about how to try and protect her when it comes to this type of thing. Who knows what type of technology or what the “new thing” will be when she’s old enough to start doing things that could impact her future, but hopefully we will be able to teach her to be smart about what she says and does online.