Social Media Guidelines

We encourage our students to use social media to connect with others, share resources and ideas, and create and curate educational content. This expectation also means a higher level of responsibility and accountability for everyone involved. Below are guidelines students should follow when using social media in the classroom, or during school activities. Please remember that you are a representative of the school even when you aren’t in the classroom. Thank you.

There is no delete button
Social media venues are “public” places. What you say or do leaves a digital footprint for all to see. Do not post anything you wouldn’t want friends, enemies, parents, teachers, or a current / future employer to see. The Internet always remembers.

Don’t overshare
Be safe online. Never give out personal information: student ID, phone numbers, addresses (home or email), exact birthdates, and private or personal pictures. Do not share your password(s) either.

Keep your cool
Engage in healthy debate. However, always post thoughtful, careful, and considerate opinions and responses. Whenever possible, take a moment to imagine how your posts affect the feelings, safety and well-being of those around you--even your enemies.

Respect and protect
Bullying is a serious problem. Vicious treatment and hateful words between students leads to violence, suicide, depression and discrimination. Hateful speech can lead to expulsion and criminal prosecution. Remember this: what you write will come back to you.

If you come across inappropriate material that makes you feel uncomfortable, or is disrespectful (even if it isn’t directed at you), report it right away.

Interaction wanted
Following, linking, or friending official social media accounts of the school are acceptable and encouraged. Linking to other “appropriate” websites to support your thoughts and ideas is recommended.

Give credit
Do not use other people’s intellectual property (always check for copyright and/or trademarks) without their permission. Hyperlinking / citing your sources is expected. Be aware that pictures, videos, songs, and audio clips may also be protected under copyright laws. Use Creative Commons materials whenever possible.

Be yourself
Stick to what you know and who you are. People often try to create a social media profile that is different from their “real” life one. Avoid this. Be yourself; take pride and ownership in who you are and what you stand for.

Be a valued member
If you have joined a social media “group”, don’t stop participating after you register. Become a contributing member either through your content or the content of others. When creating content, always ask yourself this: “is this helpful, relevant and important?”

When in doubt, ask
If you have any questions about what is appropriate, play it smart and check with someone who is very familiar with social media protocols before posting.

Mistakes happen
We all make mistakes. When this occurs do not try to hide, delete or edit it. Admit your mistake and accept the consequences. Owning your mistakes is one of the best ways to establish credibility.


NB: The social media guidelines developed and presented here were greatly influenced by the policies and articles listed below.


References


Anderson, S. (2012, April 11). Social media guidelines. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-guidelines-steven-anderson

Buck, S. (2012). 12 things students should never do on social media. Mashable. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/09/04/students-social-media-warnings/

Ford Motor Company. (2010) Ford motor company’s digital participation guidelines. Retrieved from __http://www.scribd.com/doc/36127480/Ford-Social-Media-Guidelines__

Kanter, B. (2011, April 6). Social media policy best practices: Trust is cheaper than control. Beth’s Blog. Retrieved from __http://www.bethkanter.org/trust-control/__

Lick-Wilmerding High School. (n.d.). Social media usage for the LWHS community. Retrieved from __http://www.lwhs.org/socialmedia__

Wild Rose School Division. (n.d.). Wild Rose public schools social media guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.wrsd.ca/download/15035