Student Created School Social Media Guide (Policy)! Keeping it positive and Student Driven!

This blog post includes an infographic of a social media policy for schools, that has a student, school, and community collaboration.

Photo of Patricia Smeyers
13 52

Written by

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).

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.

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

The first step in creating this elementary social media policy is to organize a team. (Anderson, 2012) This team would consist of 5 students from grades 4 and 5, 5 teachers from each grade level, 5 parents, and 2 administrators, 2 community members and the school attorney. The school attorney will review the document to ensure that it is lawful, but the attorney will not be in charge of the process (Nielsen, 2012). The policy will be reviewed annually by the committee (Anderson, 2012).

Attachments (1)

Background Information for Social Media Policy Needed in Elementary Schools.docx

Why this necessary and who should be involved in it's creation. This really affects all levels of schooling, but my focus was on my fifth graders.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Paul Kim

Hi Patricia,

First of all, thanks for participating in this collaboration between the Teachers Guild and ISTE. We really appreciate your contributions!

We’re in the last week of the build phase of the challenge on digital citizenship so it’s time to fine tune your idea before final voting begins next week.

Here are some things to consider as you continue to build on your idea:
- is your idea clear and will it inspire action from other teachers?
- would it be easy for a teacher to incorporate your idea about digital citizenship in their classroom?
- does your idea include some component of research and are there shareable resources?
- is your idea student-centered and does it promote agency?


Photo of Patricia Smeyers

Thank you very much for your input and guidance. I will give all projects a good look over and add anything tested and adjust the lesson. Your input is very valuable during this process, since it was my first time contributing materials.

View all comments