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Connecting With the Whole Community - Social Media Webinar

Digital citizenship informs the way all members of the school community use digital technologies to effectively participate, contribute, and be critically reflective.

The Connected Learning Advisory ran a webinar on  the use of Social Media in education and the key points to consider, to help schools when making related decisions.  Sean Lyons, from NetSafe,  outlined the key considerations  schools need to explore and plan for.  

“There is a growing emphasis on promoting safe and responsible behaviours and ways of managing the inevitable challenges online.” says Sean Lyons

Sean challenged the group to move from thinking about "How do I effectively use social media in class?" to "Why should I use social media in class?"  In doing so you will gain the answer from your community, your practice, your vision, your needs and most importantly your students.  

View the live recording here - Social Media in Education 










This page on TKI’s Enabling e-Learning How might we use Facebook/social media to connect to our school community? offers some very good models of how schools are communicating with their community.

Social media provides a great opportunity to collaborate and communicate with parents and whānau…[Schools] who model good social media use will grow learners who apply positive, respectful values in their interactions on social media platforms.” - via Teachers and Social Media (Teachers Council NZ)

Recent queries to the Connected Learning Advisory related situations in which parents choose to communicate online about the school,  highlight the need for school leaders to consider how to mitigate potential negative impact that can result from posts on social media. The “open door policy” which encourages parents to visit the school when issues arise is encouraged and desirable in most schools today but the nature of social media provides an easy vehicle for parents to share their views openly online.

Modelling appropriate online behaviours has proved to be an effective strategy for a group of rural schools.  Negative and inappropriate comments on blog posts caused the schools and community to come together to discuss an approach.  The students modelled appropriate behaviours to the wider community by co-constructing a set of guidelines to answer the question "What does a digital citizen in our online community look like?  The Netsafe kit offers an excellent starting point for these activities.

Other possible approaches might include:

  • Avoid engaging in open debate online. Keep discussions offline and ideally, face-to-face.

  • Gather accurate information from those involved, rather than assuming.

  • Draw on the Board for support as needed.

  • Often the technology is not the issue. Try and view online comments as an opportunity to reflect on the strength of relationships and communications across the school community. Look for ways to understand and strengthen these if needed,

Join the discussion


  • How have you managed difficult responses on social media?  

  • Do you have a successful example about positive engagement of your community via social media to share?
  • What does honesty, integrity and ethical behaviour look like at your school?




  • KSanders (View all users posts) 10 Dec 2015 8:59pm ()

    Why teenagers have taught me more in the past 3 years that I have in 10 years of teaching


    For the past three years I have been part of an incredible learning journey alongside students from five Secondary or Area schools as the Project Facilitator for Sticks 'n Stones.

    The heart of our project is the students themselves taking the lead with decision making and using their expertise alongside the experience of teachers and adults.

    What this experience has taught me and many of the other adults involved is that 'consultation' with our young people around Digital Citizenship is no longer enough.  We need to be co-constructing, empowering and enabling our young people to be part of the learning around positive behaviour online.

    Check out this article from one of our representatives for why we feel this way.

    This approach has been recognised and supported with partnerships with both Google and Facebook as well as working relationships with awesome organisations like Netsafe, Rainbow Youth and Youthline.

    We are still on our learning journey but the attitudes, expectations and responses to online interactions in our schools has changed dramatically and we believe this could be applied successfully in schools NZ wide.

    We have a number of founding SnS members heading off to University next year and we are looking for schools in Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin keen to be part of the next stage of developments for Sticks 'n Stones outside of Central Otago.

    Check out one of our SnS Snapshots below to get a taste of why our students have chosen to take a stand.

    For more information, check out our website www.sticksnstones.co.nz or drop us an email at sticksnstonesnz@gmail.com


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