Social Media Policy for our School District


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A summary of issues to take into consideration when reviewing and developing social media policy at the school district level.

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Social Media Policy for our School District

  1. 1. SOCIAL MEDIA POLICYSD10 Arrow Lakes COW meeting, Dec. 13, 2011
  2. 2. SOCIAL MEDIA DEFINEDThe definition of social media includes digital toolssuch as blogs, surveys, polls, forums, wikis, socialbookmarking, RSS, site-building, file-sharing,collaboration, messaging, gaming, virtualenvironments, conferencing, chat, text, email and more.Most social networks (like Facebook) perform anumber of these or similar functions in one place.People participate and engage with social media indifferent ways.
  3. 3. SOCIAL MEDIA = THE INTERNETThe Internet originated as a two-way communicationtool rather than as an information repository.Operating systems and apps on handheld devices aredesigned for sharing.Social Networking (especially Facebook) raisesconcerns for schools, because of its design, popularityand rules.
  4. 4. COSN REPORT 2009To what extent are American K-12 schoolsredesigning education to tap into the learningpotential of Web 2.0?Educational mindsets and school cultures do not yetalign learning to the realities of the 21st century.School leaders see the potential and see a need foreducational innovation.
  5. 5. POSITIVE/NEGATIVE/NEUTRAL?"Social network sites, online games…and devices suchas ipods…are now fixtures of youth culture…Todaysyouth (are) coming of age…amid new worlds ofcommunication, friendship, play and self-expression." Dr. Mikauko Ito, COSN reportThis kind of anticipation of positive outcomes forstudents using digital tools is grounded in researchand real classroom experience. The educational use ofdigital tools is one of the most positive classroominnovations we are likely to experience in our careers.
  6. 6. WHY USE SOCIAL MEDIA?Student interest and engagement;Opportunities for differentiated learning;Opportunities for critical and creative thinking;Contextual and relevant learning;21st century job and life skills;You need to use it to learn how to use it!
  7. 7. COSN REPORT:CONCERNS FOR SCHOOLSTime wasting and distraction;Non-authoritative or biased sources;Cheating and plagiarism;Inappropriate online social interactions, sharing ofpersonal or inappropriate material, cyber-bullying.
  8. 8. INTERNET SAFETYWe have done a good job of Internet-based “StrangerDanger” education.Cyber-bullying, sexting, impersonation, baiting (trolling)and cyber-stalking are now bigger concerns - and anyonecan be a victim.We cannot always apply pre-existing behaviour policies -the Internet has attributes we haven’t seen before.Anonymity creates different power imbalances.
  9. 9. LORD OF THE FLIES? Children and adolescents are known to ignore risks and disregard consequences; Cyber-bullying has serious health, relationship, occupational and reputation consequences; Half of girls 15-16 years old report they have been victims; 75% of initiators are known to victims from daily life.We assume kids know more than we do about everythingto do with computers - do they really?
  10. 10. LORD OF THE FLIES?In a traditional bullying scenario, schools can talk toeveryone involved, including bystanders and parents.Situations can be resolved with adult scaffolding in face-to-face meetings.Consequences are more devastating when the audience isglobal and the bullying can happen whenever a child opensan electronic device to communicate with others (there is nosafe place to be online).Even something as simple as a photo in the local paper isnow shared globally, and could become the means by whicha bully does irreparable harm.
  11. 11. DIGITAL FOOTPRINTSThe nature of the Internet is pervasive, persistent,replicable and always on.We all need to manage our digital footprints.Children and adolescents need extra protection - theyfreely share intellectual property, photographic images,public posts, personal information, files and data.Social media is increasingly woven into our everydaylives. Prohibition is not a responsible option.What are we as a society actually doing to protect ourkids?
  12. 12. THINGS THE NEUTRALINTERNET DOES WELL:Spread information (or misinformation) widely and quickly;Retain multiple records of information (or misinformation)and make them searchable;Allow people to protect (or hide) their true identity;Spread information freely (possibly without consent);Mash-up, redesign, and reformat data;Track personal information (or cyber-stalk).
  13. 13. OUR POLICY:PROACTIVE OR REACTIVE?Most policies in North American schools are developedin response to experienced or anticipated problems.Prohibition and extensive filtering promote covert usewhich makes both individuals and the systemvulnerable.Data networks and proxy servers are pervasive, and canbe used to circumvent our attempts to filter content.Reactive approaches and covert use occurs in thepresence of educational and policy deficits.
  14. 14. PROACTIVE POLICYIs founded on a positive vision of best practices ineducation;Is framed around the educational and real lifebenefits of social media;Addresses education, positive relationships, ethicalconsiderations, legal considerations and school safety.
  15. 15. FIVE PILLARS OF MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIA RISKIn order to proceed safely we all need: Knowledge Training Experience Policy Confidence
  16. 16. EDUCATION AND PROTECTION:A MODEL FOR POLICY DEVELOPMENT K-2 3-6 7-9 11-12 Modelled and Contained and Licensed to Gradual Mediated Corrected Learn GraduationAdults use social Students participate Students participate Students participatemedia in the presence in fenced systems in fenced systems in fenced systemsof children in fenced with other students and open systems and open systemsor limited systems. known to school. under supervision. under direction.No names, photos, or Limited use of photos Limited use of photos Photos and names usedidentifying info. and partial names, but and names, but not with appropriatePseudonyms used in not together. Promote together. Pseudonyms permissions. All sharedpassword protected sites. use of Pseudonyms. can be used. data must be authorized.
  17. 17. DIGITAL FOOTPRINTSAs part of career education we need to teach kids: How to create a positive digital presence; How to create a personal brand; How to access their complete digital footprint; How to protect themselves into the future.
  18. 18. POLICIES THAT ADDRESS BEHAVIOUR AND CONDUCTWe need policy that covers: On and off campus behaviour that affects learning; Behaviour intended to cause harm; Inappropriate or personally harmful behaviour; A delineated chain of contacts for reporting harmful or inappropriate behaviour; Restitution, remediation and proactive education.
  19. 19. POLICY THAT ADDRESSES PRIVACY AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Original content creators retain intellectual property rights regardless of age or school involvement. Schools need the written consent of the author and parents to publish student work to a mass audience. Schools need written permission to store student content or data out of the country. We are responsible for what children are doing during school. A fenced system protects us and them until we are able to ensure they have sufficient education and maturity to safely navigate the open Internet.
  20. 20. POLICY THAT INVOLVESSTAKEHOLDERS AND COMMUNITYWe need to develop policy together with stakeholders: students staff families community aboriginal band MCFD RCMP
  21. 21. POLICY THAT CHANGES WITH CHANGING TIMESTechnologies change. Policy needs to be able to: Provide a framework so the district can investigate and assess emerging technologies and media; Provide a framework to assess the value of new media, its possible risks, and its relevance to youth culture; Address the results of these assessments.
  22. 22. POLICY THAT GETS APPLIED:Includes a vision statement;Includes a positive education component;Involves stakeholders;Fits local contexts;Is supported by legal counsel;Helps create relationships between agencies,community groups, stakeholders and industry;Promotes ongoing growth and development.
  23. 23. POLICY THAT SUPPORTS LEARNING Students have clear rules for acceptable conduct. Teachers know processes for dealing with problems. All staff receive guidance with regard to social networks, social media and professionalism. Citizens gain greater understanding of intellectual property rights and data location issues. The wider community understands the issues surrounding the use of social media with children.
  24. 24. This presentation was given to our board of education andcommunity of learning partners in School District 10, Arrow Lakes,BC, Canada as a call to action to begin to work on exemplary socialmedia and Internet use policy.A huge thank you goes to Julia Hengstler for all the work she hasdone with our district so far, and especially for her presentations andsupporting materials, which formed the basis of this summary of hercall to action to educators across BC.Please direct feedback and questions by email to SallyLynn McLean