Monthly Archives: November 2014

School Social Media Policy

tempted_by_social_media_by_haakonlie-d68insiI have a love hate relationship with student having cell phones in class.This is mostly because they haven’t been taught to use their personal electronic devices responsibly or for educational purposes. I teach middle school and cell phones can be very disruptive. My students love to text, usually not very appropriately, and are distracted by the running conversations with other students who also are not supposed to have or be using a cell phone on campus. I have been making an effort to use my phone between classes to highlight how apps on a phone can be educational, not just recreational. Before the latest network blockade, my students would come and gather round me while we read the latest news headlines, checked the weather (always a fascination for some reason), or I showed them how email, Evernote, or blogging worked on a cell phone. It amazed me at just how curious and shocked they were that you could actually use the phone as a tool.

I have long argued that we should teach students how to use their phones, iPods, and such responsibly instead of having blanket bans. It is similar to student use of the Internet, as many students don’t realize that it is a powerful tool for learning not just an entertainment portal. We need to choose our battles and funnel student enthusiasm so they are consuming technology wisely, not abusing or misusing it. As for social media, it is currently all blocked, with the exception of Edublogs. Students enrolled in computer apps classes have closely monitored/moderated access. Other than that, there is no authorized access to social media by students, and very limited access to blogs and lesson sharing resources for faculty. Building on that supposition, and after reading several different organizations’ policies, I crafted my social media policy. I have two direct quotes in my policy. The first is statement 2.a.vii in my document which is from line 3.5 in Calgary Catholic School District’s Electronic Social Media policy and my item 2.e from line 2.8 of that same policy (2012). I could not find a way to say it better. I did try to stay somewhat true to my district’s current district policy (which doesn’t address social media) as far as general technology use.

8718123610_09e70f6d90Introduction to this policy could be done in the technology and Internet safety training classes that parents are currently taking. To solicit specific feedback and input for this policy I would do the following:

  1. Post the proposed policy on the school/district website with options to post comments
  2. Have a round table discussion with teachers at one or more PLC sessions
  3. Hold class discussions with students during social studies classes
  4. Have students post their thoughts and concerns as comments to a blog post
  5. Send a copy of the proposed policy with the school newsletter soliciting community input
  6. Have an open forum during parent/teacher conferences.


Alberta. (2012). Digital citizenship policy development guide. Edmonton: Alberta Education, School Technology Branch.

Baboquivari Unified School District. (n.d.). Use if technology resources in instruction electronic information services ueser agreement (I-6431 IJNDB-E). Retrieved from

Ben-Avarahm, Y. (n.d.). Solving jigsaw puzzle [Graphic]. Retrieved from Catholic School District. (2012). Electronic Social Media (NEPN Code: GC). Retrieved from

HaakonLie. (2013, June). Tempted by social media [Drawing]. Retrieved from

Livingstone Range School Division No. 68. (2013, June). Electronic Social Media. Retrieved from

Melrose Public Schools. (n.d.). Electronic Communication and Social Media Use Policy. Retrieved from

Scope & Sequence | Common Sense Media. (2012). Retrieved from

Willow Creek Composite High School. (2014, October 1). Student Owned Devices in School. The Navigator [Claresholm, AB], p. 3.



Social Media and Networking in the Classroom

For Module 6 I chose to use EduClipper for curating my resources. I hadn’t used the application before and decided to give it a whirl. So, I learned a about a new application and it even works at school!  I like the layout of EduClipper it is rather random at first glance, as the most recent clip or board is first – regardless of who posted it. You may have to do some searching to find a particular board. I haven’t quite figure out how to search the database efficiently yet, but I will. One draw back is in sharing a board (collection) with non-members. It seems they really want you to join, it is free by the way, to be able to view someone’s resources. Please click on the image to hopefully be transported to my board – without joining (I do recommend it though, there are a LOT of great resources to be found!).

I didn’t think that this assignment would be difficult or time consuming, I was wrong.This module had several challenges. The first was finding the lessons that required student to use social networking and media as part of the activity or assessment that fit with my teaching assignment. I chose to ignore the fact that the categories of social media and networking (that extends to YouTube) are currently blocked/banned and focused on finding things that would work if the restrictions were lifted. Currently, I teach computer applications for grades 6-8 in a very rural area. I try to team up with the “academic” teachers as often as possible to support the standards they are currently working on. Other than the keyboarding, I use project based learning in my classes. I think it is important for students to be able to apply their learning and my role as the teacher is to provide the opportunity for them to do so using authentic tasks, not with worksheets.

There are a lot of lessons out there, but the vast majority just didn’t meet the criteria I was trying to match, especially since I was looking to find a variety of applications (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and so on). I did discover thankfully that case studies were much easier to find, yet more time consuming to read and determine if they fit the collection. In the end, I think I found very valuable information and lessons that I can incorporate into my classes that I would not have had otherwise.

One other thing I learned from this assignment is that this project is much like the last; I can loose myself in the searching and reading for hours, and that is not an exaggeration.

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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Uncategorized