EDTECH 543: Social Media Policies

I reviewed the social media policies that are in place for several different academic institutions to come up with a list I feel is appropriate and should be implemented into all educational social media policies. My future career plans are focused more towards adult education, but my list of social media policies could easily be for k-12 students as well. I have tried to create a list of policies that would cover both audiences.

  • Posting images.

Make sure students have given permission to have their image be used. You could also create a list that students can sign that automatically grants permission to use their image. If their name is not on that list they have not given permission and therefore should not be used. Same goes for posting their names. Should also be cautious with posting trademark or copyright information.

  • Responsibility.

Use of the institutions social media account represents the school, therefore all content posted should be school related and enhance the schools reputation. Instructors and staff are responsible for everything they post and should use common sense that everything they post may not be private.

  • Listen.

Social media gives instructors, students and parents another way to communicate about school related matters. It is important to listen and respond accordingly to questions or concerns they may have as this could be the only way they can interact with the school. This also offers a way to receive feedback from students and/or parents that can be used to make adjustments for the future.

  • Accuracy.

Again, the social media account(s) will be a representation of the school. This is why it is important to make sure all content posted or shared is accurate and appropriate for who it is intended for. Correct use of grammar and spelling should be checked before posting as well. People do make mistakes and therefore if anything should be posted by mistake or have inaccuracies you should send out a correction with apology.

  • Communicate.

All communication with students should be at professional level and used only to discuss school related matters. For k-12 students, parents should be included in all communications unless the parents opt out. Before using social media in the classroom, students and parents will be informed of the purpose behind using social media and answer all question or concerns they may have. The students and parents will be allowed to provide feedback about their experiences as well.

  • New technology.

When introducing a new social media application, make sure to work with the principal, dean, administrator, and/or stakeholders to discuss the best approach and whether the new tech is appropriate for the intended student’s age and purpose of it use. If it is approved, feedback should be required to help improve for later use and check if it is serving its intended purpose.

  • Behavior.

All interactions should be respectful and equal to your face to face interactions with staff, students, and parents. Cyberbullying is a serious offense and will not be tolerated. All acts of cyberbullying will be reported immediately to the principal, dean, or administrator.

  • Confidentiality.

Never post personal or unnecessary information about students or other staff members. Treat all online conversations as being public not private. If any conversations require personal information to be said or shared it needs to be done offline.

  • Sharing of content.

All content that is shared from an outside source should be of the highest quality, and appropriate for the purpose and age of students. Make sure to cite all sources and references. Everything you share reflects the image of the institution and must be held to the highest standards of professionalism.

  • Personal accounts.

Staff or faculty with their own personal social media accounts should be aware of the following. You should not communicate or “friend” students or their family on your personal accounts or blogs. All communications with these parties should be conducted on the schools social media accounts. Instructors and staff should never post anything school related on their personal accounts especially personal information about any staff, students, or families. Lastly, while it is not required due to freedom of speech it is highly recommended to continue using common sense in your personal accounts. Everything you post or share might not be as private as you think and depending on where you live/work it could create negative consequences in your life if you are not careful.

Bendici, R. (February 11 2019). How to create K12 social media policy. Retrieved from https://districtadministration.com/how-to-create-k12-social-media-policy/

Jackson Public Schools Social Media Policy and Guidelines . (2019). In JPSK. Retrieved April 5, 2019, from https://www.jpsk12.org/cms/lib/MI01908028/Centricity/Domain/505/JPS%202017-%202018%20Social%20Media%20Policy%20staff%20final.pdf

Social Media and Digital Communication Guidelines for Staff. (2019). In MMSD. Retrieved April 5, 2019, from https://www.madison.k12.wi.us/social-media-guidelines

Social Media Policy. (2019). In Sewickley Academy. Retrieved April 5, 2019, from https://www.sewickley.org/policies/social-media-policy

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