Social Media and the School Community

Social Media & Schools

At the 2013 Power Conference, many RenWeb schools expressed concerns about how to create and manage social media policies and guidelines for the entire school community. We came across this great blog post by Susan Bearden on the SchneiderB blog and thought some of you may be interested in a few of the points she raised.

At the FETC 2012 Conference in January, I attended a terrific session on “Parenting 2.0” by @RitaOates. In her presentation she referenced the the final report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force from Harvard. Among the major risk findings of the task force were:

  • Public perception of predators and victims is not accurate (p. 16)
  • Minors are not equally at risk online. Those who are most at risk from predators often engage in risky behaviors and have difficulties in other parts of their lives. (p. 5)
  • Bullying and harassment are the most frequent threats that minors face, both online and offline. (p. 4)

Later, Bearden went on to say:

Parents and administrators should be far, far more concerned about student behavior online than a photo on a school website! Kids upload inappropriate photos, videos, and other content every day and parents have no idea what their children are doing. I suspect that many parents who sign agreements like those referenced above are oblivious to the far greater risks posed by student behavior. […] Regardless of whether schools choose to publish student names with their photos (and thus enhancing a student’s digital footprint), they should be modeling for students what kind of content should be posted online.

Many of our schools were expressing concerns about this very thing: should they include student names on Facebook photos? What types of media releases did they need to create if they were using student photos on social networking accounts? Was there any way for them to monitor students’ personal accounts? Hopefully this article gives some food for thought!

Click here to read the entire post.

For another great resource on social media safety, school social media policies and more, be sure to check out Facebook for Educators.

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