Update: Lectures rarely work and policies tend to lead students to defiance, disregard, or a feeling of distrust. Try this positive approach to creating school policy for Internet use and Social Media. Great for elementary to college level. Give students a voice to come up with a policy with staff and community guidance. Students respond to positivity and voice. This policy should focus on trust and give students the power to act appropriately online. They research and create this fantastic policy with a team from the school and community. You can start small in a classroom setting, and grow into a district wide or school wide policy. Treating students with respect, trust, and maturity to work alongside staff, community members, lawyers, etc. allows students to feel the sense of responsibility to follow the policy they helped create.
Idea: I developed, with student input, a social media policy. This is an elementary school example, but all school levels could implement a team of students, staff, and possibly community members, to create this social media policy within the school district. After reviewing 10 policies online and the Internet Policy at my school, it has been determined that a social media policy should be in effect at our elementary school. I noticed that many school districts had policies for staff using social media but neglected to create a policy for students, utilizing student voice. I also noted that many policies were negatively worded, meaning that is sounds that the school does not trust the student. I tried to ensure a positive approach to creating this policy, along with student input. I want the students to feel empowered to use social media for learning and feel responsible and trusted during social media learning. This policy is meant to be guidelines rather than rules. Online interaction is a learning process, and good digital citizenship must be taught in order to be successful. This document should be read and taught in the classroom before allowing students to interact online. We must ensure that the students understand each strategy and feel safe and confident online. “Ultimately, kids have to know how to manage online usage both ethically and responsibly” (Developing Sound Social Media Policies for Schools, 2012). https://patriciasmeyers.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/elementary-school-social-media-policy/
Build: I chose a team of students to start discussing the role social media can play in the classroom. For the build phase we are making a classroom social media policy. (For a school wide policy, I suggest having a team of teachers, community members, parents, and students to create the official document. The key aspect is to have student voice) The students have completed lessons on digital citizenship through my own Digital Dynamo modules and Google's "Be Internet Awesome" lessons and game. They are currently researching social media and learning. They will be creating a digital wall (using Padlet, which is basically digital sticky notes that are public is you choose) of why students should have access to social media tools in schools. Once created I will post the results. I chose Padlet since it is one method of social media that can enhance education for brainstorming, communicating, and sharing, etc, especially with younger learners.
Once ideas are created, we will meet to discuss collaborating on a document and use Piktochart infographic creator to create our social media policy. The example one is provided in the link before this phase in paragraph one.
Inspiration Credit to Boise State University M.E.T. Program, Social Learning Graduate Class.
Thank you Teachers Guild for this incredible opportunity and allowing me to share my ideas.