Social media is a growing trend among the students that we educate. Simply stating that it is should not to be used, will not work. An acceptable use plan or guidelines must be developed and revisited as social media changes. Social media use is not only for talking with friends, it has developed into a way of learning and sharing of ideas. Students are engaging and collaborating with others. We need to harness the power of social media and use it as an educational tool.
There are several questions that need to be answered in order to plan an effective and appropriate social media policy or guidelines.
- Is there a technology or policymaking team already in place?
- Do members of the team agree upon what the goal is?
- Are all stakeholders represented on the team?
- Does legal council need to be involved?
- Does the school board have procedures regarding new policies?
- Identify the main stakeholders. Parents, staff and administration will need to work collaboratively to develop a plan.
- What are the concerns of the students, parents, administrators and staff in regards to using social media?
- How can these concerns be incorporated into the social media policy?
- Identify what is social media and what social media’s are we wanting to target?
- Is there a policy already in place?
- Is it current?
- Should there be a different policy for the elementary, middle and high school?
- Do we want to have a policy or guidelines to follow?
- Can it be combined with the existing technology use policy?
- How are other schools in the district/state using social media?
- Gather examples of successful use.
- Research best practices in regards to social media use in education.
- How are students and staff currently using social media?
- Are there examples of successful use of social media integration in the school?
- Does the school have technology to support the use of social media?
- Are the filters currently in place going to block access for students and staff?
- What is the time frame available to develop the policy?
- What is the time frame for school board to adopt the policy?
After these questions have been answered, the following steps should be taken:
- The team can draw up a draft policy. The team can look to other organizations to find out what works and what does not work.
- Once the draft is developed, it should be sent out to the stakeholders for their feedback.
- Once feedback has been given, the plan should be revised to address any concerns brought up.
- It should be submitted for approval.
- Once the plan is approved, it should be presented to remaining stakeholders.
- The plan should be revisited annually to ensure that it is up to date and still appropriate.
Anderson, S. (2012). Social media guidelines. Edutopia. Retrieved November 11, 2012, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-guidelines-steven-anderson
Anderson, S. (2012). How to create social media guidelines for your school. Edutopia. Retrieved November 11, 2012, from http://www.edutopia.org/how-to-create-social-media-guidelines-school
Lepi, K. (2012). Crowdsourced school social media policy now available. Edudemic. Retrieved November 10, 2012, from http://edudemic.com/2012/06/school-social-media-policy/
Nielsen, L. (2012, July 30). 5 steps to building social media presence from scratch. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/07/5-steps-to-building-social-media.html
Nielsen, L. (2012, September 14). Facebook – To block or not to block – that is the question. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/09/facebook-to-block-or-not-to-block-that.html