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How can we help students use social media appropriately - and why?

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Started by Karen Spencer 23 Sep 2011 3:51pm () Replies (4)

I was recently asked this question. Here are some resources/advice I shared....what have I missed?

'There is no 'right' answer, unfortunately, and the outcome you choose will depend on: 

  • your school's overall strategy towards the use of ICTs for learning, and 
  • how well your school is set up to support students' digital citizenship and cybersafety needs [Netsafe can help here]
  • You would also need to consider what the purpose would be for opening up access, in terms of learning. For example, if Facebook (or similar sites) were central to learning experiences (e.g. teachers used them for on-going resource sharing and discussion), then it would be useful to have the site accessible. But, at the same time, the school would need to have an Acceptable Uses Policy to manage positive (and not so positive) use of the site. 

Some schools are completely 'open', others completely 'closed'...it depends on the wider picture of the school, the support of the community (teachers, students, parents)

Some resources that might be helpful:

From Netsafe

What other teachers are thinking/doing:


  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 26 Sep 2011 9:17am ()

    There has been an interesting thread running in the MLE Reference Group:

    "Apart from Acceptable Use Behaviour agreements, what are other schools doing re. misbehaviour on social networking pages?  Problems that we are increasingly encountering include:

    - Defamatory comments

    - Fake sites (with school logo) use to create obscene statements / images / insults at fellow students

    - Facebook pages used to 'rate' other students (unsurprising given the genesis of Facebook maybe)

    - Fake sites of staff members for students to mock them

    I fear this is going to get worse as we further digitise our classrooms.

    We are looking to create more specific guidelines around how we identify such behaviours, and respond to them ... including dealing with people how habitually 'friend' inappropriate pages.

    I welcome people's thoughts."





  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 27 Sep 2011 8:05am ()

    Here's a useful video - Tagged by ACMA Cybersmart - being shared around at the moment to engage students (secondary, ideally) in discussions about cybersaftey and digital citizenship:

    You might use it to explore:

    • The ease, speed and scalability of sharing across multiple, mobile devices, particulary photos taken at events with friends
    • The impact on people of sharing material about each other in this way
    • What motivates people to share material about each other
    • The way information about you online can 'follow' you as you get older, and remain online indefinitely
    • The importance of having integrity and taking responsibility
    • The role that parents and schools can take to support young people
    • The law surrounding the use of (potentially incriminating) information online


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 29 Sep 2011 2:51pm ()

    This a useful collation of resources from recent online conversations, thanks Karen.

    I've just been reading an interesting blog post about dealing with negative issues online. As Michele Martin suggests in, Negative Online Behavior is a Product of Culture, Not Your Social Media Tools: What I'm Learning from the Work Literacy Course the root of the problem isn't the social media tools themselves, but rather more about the culture of the community and there’s need to develop, “a plan for dealing with this.”

    The comments are written in the context of engaging in a more mature professional community, but possibly the sentiments could be transferred into a senior school context as well?

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