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Social Media in Schools

Eric Sheninger Principal at New Milford High School

I am interested in everyone's thoughts on the role of social media in schools. Does your school have a policy? If not, do you think one should be developed? In your opinion, what role does/should social media play in the education of students today? What sites are blocked at your school?

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Chief Information Officer / Graves County (KY) Schools

Why?

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I have always wondered why we must create a new policy for everything that comes along. I support and encourage the use of social media in the classroom but I feel that a technology policy should be general and all encompassing while being simple and effective.

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I think educators have to be smart about what social media tools they use to connect to students. I think they're a great way to strengthen the student-teacher relationship, but doing so using personal accounts (e.g., Facebook) on social networking sites is something school administrators should prohibit. I just read an interesting article on this Internet safety site KiwiCommons.com, which talked about the whole issue on "friending" students on personal platforms. You can read it here - http://kiwicommons.com/2010/01/should-teachers-be-%E2%80%9Cfriends%E2%80...

I think schools should be

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I think schools should be careful about what social media sites teachers can use to interact with students. Facebook, MySpace and personal Twitter sites should all be disallowed. I wouldn't be comfortable having my 16-year-old daughter engaging with her teachers on Facebook. I read an interesting article the other day on an Internet safety site that discusses the issue of whether parents and students can "friend" each other on these more personal platforms. You can read about it here - http://kiwicommons.com/2010/01/should-teachers-be-%E2%80%9Cfriends%E2%80... Even if teachers sent out a notice to parents that they'd be engaging with my daughter via Facebook or Twitter for whatever purpose, if they are using their personal account, I would just not be comfortable with it.

Senior Manager of Video Programming, Production, & Curation at Edutopia

How to Use Social-Networking Technology for Learning

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Great discussion!

We published an article a few years ago on how to use social media in the classroom. The landscape obviously changes very quickly, but I think there are still some great and straightforward hints in it. Check it out.

There's also an accompanying feature article about Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy and principal Chris Lehmann, who is very forward-thinking in his approach to using social media in his school.

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