Whether your school or district has officially adopted social media or not, conversations are happening in and around your school on everything from Facebook to Snapchat. Schools must reckon with this reality and commit to supporting thoughtful and critical social media use among students, teachers, and administrators. If not, schools and classrooms risk everything from digital distraction to privacy violations.
The go-to method for guiding this practice is setting up district social media guidelines or policies. There are a bunch of examples to browse, but the big thing to remember is that there’s no perfect, off-the-shelf policy. Every school and student and teacher population will require its own unique set of guidelines; these guidelines can vary significantly if you’re a one-to-one or BYOD school, or if you’re a public or private institution, for instance. Use policy creation as an opportunity to take inventory of your students’ needs, how social media is already being used by your teachers, and how policy can support both responsibly.