Striking the Right Balance: Student Social Media Policies
Many of us are struggling with striking the right balance between social media/Internet use and restrictions.While teachers want to engage students in multiple mediums, ensuring that they are prepared to communicate in a thoughtful, respectful, and critical manner in all forms of communication, administrators want to safeguard their students (and their school) from any possible harm that may arise from such use. Where to find the social media chi? Fortunately for me, my school is overrun with talented faculty like Brandon B. Recently, Brandon's class used a Visible Thinking routine [Project Zero] to create a Social Media Policy for class use of blogs and Twitter. [We are currently working on a school wide policy.] I love that his students created a policy that not only incorporates safe use of social media, but that their policy also underscores the importance of how something should be communicated (proper grammar, spelling, your own words, appropriate language, etc.).
World History 2011-2012 Social Media Policy
1. I will not give out any information more personal than my first name nor will I post pictures of myself or my classmates.
2. I will not plagiarize; instead I will expand on others' ideas and give credit where it is due.
3. I will use language appropriate for school.
4. I will always respect my fellow students and their writing.
5. I will follow only the Twitter users that Mr. B. has instructed me to follow.
6. I will not communicate with anyone on Twitter that refrains from benefiting my knowledge of history, this course, or current events.
7. I will use constructive/productive/purposeful criticism, supporting any idea, comment, or critique I have with evidence.
8. I will take blogging seriously, posting only comments and ideas that are meaningful and that contribute to the overall conversation.
9. I will take my time when I write, using formal language (not text lingo), and I will try to spell everything correctly.
10. I will not use my blog posts or comments as a chat room. (No IM or texting lingo.)
11. I will not bully others in my blog posts or in my comments.
12. I will never access another student's Kidblog/Twitter account or make any changes to their site.
13. I will only have one school account for Kidblog/Twitter and the username will consist of first 3 letters of my first name, first 3 letter of my last name, and my class period.
14. I will provide Mr. B. with my username and password for Kidblog/Twitter and allow him permission to edit any post, tweet, comment, etc.
15. I will personalize my blog and keep my writing authentic, while taking responsibility for anything I add to my blog.
16. I will not provoke other students in my blog posts or comments.
17. I will only post photos which are school appropriate and are either not copyrighted or correctly cited.
18. I will not spam.
19. I will only post comments on posts that I have fully read, rather than just skimmed.
20. I will not reveal anyone else's identity in my comments or posts.
I pledge to abide by the XXXX Honor Code and should any infractions of these rules take place they will lead to consequences as deemed appropriate by the deans office:
I have read and understand the Social Media Policy.
Are you there yet? What would you add?