In its Policy Priorities report, Can Social Media and School Policies be “Friends,” ASCD provides a state-of-the union on social media use in schools. How administrators and educators deal with federal regulations, defining what’s legal, parsing out school responsibilities and weighing them against the benefits of using social media to engage and communicate with students are all addressed in this useful guide. MindShift’s Dispelling Myths About Blocked Sites is also in the lineup.

  • There’s a misprinted statistic in the bottom right corner of the info graphic. It says “It’s Hard To Monitor – More than two thirds (35%) of teens…”  I’m guessing it should say “…More than one third…”

    Otherwise, this raises some interesting questions.

    • Ladyelizabethwistar

      Should’ve cheated with their smartphone on the fraction to percentage conversion 😉

  • Anonymous

    The challenge for early adopters is – how do we deliver this message to individuals within the teaching community? 

    In what could be a significant change to their teaching practice, many teachers need reassurance on how this is going to affect them and what they currently do.

    Opportunities for professional skill development, the clear communication of relevance and the active display of Leader buy-in are essential components to assure teachers that this is possible and important.

    • Teachers are NOT being reassured:

      • Anonymous

        Not at all! If anything, they are being discouraged by policy indecisiveness and defensive language from educational bureaucrats. There does not seem to be any encouragement of teachers to embrace social media, only continual ‘reminders’ of the possible fallout. Here in Australia, there are no legislative roadblocks (yet) but there is plenty of parental and department-level disapproval on the pro-active use of SM in the classroom.

        • I’m dismayed to read your response regarding Australia. Some of the best examples I have seen have been done in Australia so I had hoped that Aussie educational administrators were more “enlightened” 🙁

          • Anonymous

            I think that now, as they realise the potential problems associated with SM, administrators are becoming more wary. Believe me though, there are still some wonderful things being done using SM her Down Under (it’s just kept a little on the down-low!) 🙂

          • I’m glad to hear that. It’s also true here in the US. WHEN the ‘wary’ ones get “wise” they’ll be amazed by what they see and horrified to realize how far behind they are, won’t they?

  • Norman Constantine

    The teachers who like social media in class should just tell the students to take out their connectable devices and connect them!! 

    • If you read the post I mentioned in my comment, you will see that school districts often do much to DIScourage this! 🙁
      Thomas I. M. Ho, Ph.D.

    • Anonymous

      This is what I do! 🙂 And sometimes, when the network goes down, the kids let me use their mobile (cell phone) as a wireless hotspot so I can keep the net open for facilitating the class.

      • Good for you! Bits are like water… They just “flow” when you provide a “pipe” 😉

  • Mtassoni

    use Yammer!

  • Mtassoni

    I’ve been using the free version of Yammer in all of my Middle School classes. Huge difference it makes over using email, blogs, website, shared network folders (although I still use my website for static information like project guidelines, theories,etc…

    I established very strict rules on content and I hold veryone accountable. Since Yammer looks (and sort of acts) like Fecbook, the students bought into it.

    • Another virtue of Yammer is the ability to keep the conversations private among your students, isn’t it? But, don’t they have to have email addresses on the same domain for you to be able to do that?

    • Anonymous

      I like the establishment of expectations up front and hold students (w ho hold each other) accountable. Our Gen Why students don’t like rules but if the understand the rationale and the consequences, I believe they’ll play fair. That’s been my experience.

  • R2D2

    Interesting statistic that 63% of students want online collaboration tools and online content while 69% of schools have banned mobile devices. This needs to be reconciled. While cells phones in schools can be a distraction how about content like this ( and more which will be accessible on a mobile device.

  • Nanette653

    I worked at an alternative school with very few rules. As a science teacher, I borrowed students cell phones for gps, pocket knives and lighters. Each was used and put away. Yet they could not work facebook or youtube that way; these are always clammering for attention. 

  • Anonymous

    Could this information be any more obviously slanted to advocate social media in the schools? The majority of my students (college freshmen) value the classroom as a break from social media and a chance to focus on what is happening in the room. 

    The powers of digital technologies know that the only way to take over the education system is to start convincing children at a very young age that they need these technologies to think, because today’s college students know better.

    • I don’t share your skepticism. I suspect your freshmen are exhausted from the drama of their inane use of social media in their personal lives. Even IF they wanted to use social media for learning, they wouldn’t want you to use the same services (probably Facebook) due to the “creepy treehouse” effect so they’re telling you they wouldn’t want YOU to use social media in the classroom!

      The “powers that be” don’t have to conspire because young children are going to EXPECT these technologies to help them to LEARN because they already know how to THINK! Your college students have a LOT TO LEARN!

  • This can all be accommodated if schools deploy advanced social media monitoring SMM tools ( readily used by their commercial counterparts.  

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