Here is my plan to create a Social Media and Acceptable Use Plan for the district. I think that most teachers in the district do have Netiqutte Rules for their classes but an overall Social Media Policy needs to be updated. I was thinking about this as I wrote the last step: Repeat everything over again. It is so true. Thinking back just a year ago and all of the development since then, this policy needs to be an ongoing work in progress.
As Social Media is becoming more prominent in our every day lives and in the lives of our students, it is imperative that we create a Social Media & Acceptable Use Policy that is up to date and encompasses any potential issues that may arise from the use of Social Media in the classroom. Social Media is a tool that can be used to collaborate with others, share valuable resources, highlight student work and connect with the world in a meaningful way. It can also be used in less productive and educational ways and therefore, students, faculty, administration, parents, legal counsel and other members of the community need to have the opportunity to add to and support the creation of the document through their feedback.
Below I have listed 10 steps in order to create a Social Media and Acceptable Use Policy.
Social Media & Acceptable Use Policy- Plan
1. Get permission from the Administration to create a Social Media & Acceptable Use document.
*If there is already an existing document, the argument could be made to revisit and revise if the document is more than a year old.
*Administration may advise speaking with legal counsel of the district in order to validate the document.
2. Assemble a team of professionals to evaluate and create the document.
*These individuals can be teachers, administrators, and technology specialists that use Social Media in their classrooms or daily lives.
*Individuals that do not use Social Media in their classroom and daily lives would also be beneficial so that the pros and cons can be brought to light.
3. Research how Social Media is being used already in the district.
*Does the school have netiquette rules available for students?
*Are students allowed to use other devices besides computers to access Social Media?
*Which sites are allowed/blocked through network?
*Have these examples of Social Media been successful or unsuccessful?
*What would have made them more successful?
*Can students access these Social Medias at home?
*Is the privacy of the students/teachers protected?
4. Create a rough draft of the document.
*Which issues are the most important to recognize in the policy?
*What needs to be defined?
*How should we organize it so that it is easy to understand?
5. Review the document with the Administration/ Board of Education/ Legal Counsel
*Is there anything that should be added?
*Is there any section that does not correlate with the goals of the district in terms of Social Media use?
6. Revise the document and make additions/corrections as necessary.
*Make corrections as they were given.
*Reword any section that is not specific or functional to the overall goal of the policy.
7. Make the document available to parents, students, community members, stakeholders, etc.
*Allow everyone the opportunity to review and make suggestions and comments.
8. Review additional feedback.
*Was there anything that still needs to be added?
*If clarification is needed on feedback, meet with individual/s to discuss.
9. Revise the document and create a final draft of the policy.
*Review the final policy with legal counsel.
*Make the policy available for everyone, putting on school website, board office and in the newspaper.
*Explain policy in open forum with teachers so that they are comfortable presenting information to students and fielding potential questions from parents.
10. Continue to Evaluate document as Social Media Use continues to grow and expand in the school district.
*Continue to allow feedback and follow up with feedback.
*Technology is always expanding and developing and so should a Social Media & Acceptable Use policy.
*Research upcoming and recent changes in any privacy or legalities surrounding Social Media use.
Dunn, J. (2012). It’s time to crowdsource your school;s social media policy. Edudemic. Retrieved from http://edudemic.com/2012/05/social-media-policy-crowdsource/
Anderson, S. (2012). Social media guidelines. Education Trends. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-guidelines-steven-anderson
3.4 Policies and Regulations