Social Media Policies

School Level Policy

Our most recent assignment had us explore the idea of a social media policy within our district or school. I was able to find the DCPS Student Safety and Use Policy for Internet and Technology (2009) which provides rules and guidelines for students. It is not however specifically geared toward social media usage. The only portion, from the policy, concerning this topic states:

"Students are prohibited from accessing social networking sites, 
including, but not limited to, My Space, Facebook, and Twitter."

This is a very limited and outdated policy surrounding the idea of social media in schools. The policy that I have created is one that I plan to introduce at the school-level in the upcoming year. I think, more than anything, this will get the social media conversation heading in a positive direction.

I chose to create a policy for staff first, as this is an elementary school. I will propose the plan to administration and staff first, as it is a policy that applies to them. Once feedback is collected, by way of a Google Form, I plan to have our Academic Leadership Team revise and implement the plan. From here a student and parent policy can be created as deemed applicable. The plan will be reviewed on an annual basis that coincides with the Staff Handbook review. It may even be a good idea to adopt the plan into the handbook if acceptable by school leaders.

Here is my proposed Social Media Policy and Guidelines:

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

DCPS. (2009). DCPS student safety and use policy for internet and technology. Retrieved from http://dcps.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/dcps/publication/attachments/DCPS-INTERNET-SAFETY-USE-POLICY-APRIL-7-2009.pdf

PBWorks. (2011). Social Media Guidelines for Schools. Retrieved from http://socialmediaguidelines.pbworks.com/w/page/17050879/FrontPage

Pajaro Valley Unified School District. (2012). PVUSD Social Media Policy. Retrieved from http://www.pvusd.net/tup

Social Networking for Teaching and Learning

Social Media is Elementary

IMG_20150128_102600As a technology instructional coach for an elementary school, I was a bit nervous about finding resources surrounding social media and young students. I wasn’t sure what resources I would find if any. So, I begin by posting in a few Google+ communities to help gather information circulating about this topic. I was pleasantly¬†surprised both with the response and the content.

I was surprised to learn that there are many resources out there of teachers utilizing Twitter, blog sharing, and Skype in the Classroom at the elementary level. I was surprised to find a lot of examples and support came from early elementary, both kindergarten, and first grade. I choose to curate my findings with Storify this time around; you can check it out here.

I learned that teachers utilize a classroom Twitter account, for example, and draft posts together as a class. Some teachers train their students well enough that eventually students are posting to the class account independently with teacher posting permission. Teachers at the elementary level, like to match up with other classes through Twitter or blogs to respond to one-another. Sometimes they even plan on doing projects and predict and share results with their “buddy” classes all over the world.

I was so pleased with my findings I have added a lot of these teachers to my PLN and shared the resources with teachers in my building. I look forward to opening up this idea with the elementary teachers I work with.