Important Do's and Don'ts for Social Media in Education


Important Do's and Don'ts for Social Media in Education
Social media has become a part of the lives of the youth. Teachers and administrative staff members know this and therefore, there has been great research going on for the useful integration of the same in education. Facebook is even starting a campaign
 based on the same. But, as the world is getting digital, there is a need for certain guidelines to be stored in the unconscious mind of both students and teachers, while using social media.

Do’s for Teachers:

Confidentiality: Pretty obvious one. Confidential data, like students’ grades, contact information, etc. should stay secured within school records not on “some Facebook page”.

Flip: Make the classroom more interactive through role playing pages, online video sharing, etc.

Chatting: Avoid private chats roulettes with students at all costs. It will affect the student-teacher relationship.

Separate accounts: Do consider separate personal and professional social media accounts. This is one of the easiest ways to manage professional and personal lives separately. This can put a boundary between school and personal life that is good for your career and less stressful for you as a private individual.

Privacy: Do make sure you have strict privacy settings if you only use one social media account per social media site. One should hide all updates, media, statuses, and account info from everyone who is not on their friend list. Teachers should often not add students to their friends’ list until they have graduated from the school entirely.

Don’ts for teachers

Language: Avoid saying anything on the professional or public social media profile that you wouldn’t say in class because any statements you make that don’t fit in with your daytime teacher personality will make their way back into class in the worst possible way. Worse they can just show up ‘mysteriously’ in front of your fellow teachers, principal, superintendent or school administration.

Chat: Don’t get too chatty with students on your professional profile. Students may be more inclined and putting more weight on continued private conversations than you do, which will become awkward. Your students can call you during and after school if there is an emergency or else can leave you message, which you can revert to as soon as possible.

Personal pics: Don’t share pictures of your personal party. Even if you think it will make you look cool to your students.

Do’s for students:

Profile check: Every now and then, preferably once in six months you should perform a thorough review of the information and content public on your social media profiles. That way, you'll be able to locate and remove that ‘specific’ photo of a crazy holiday before you apply for your next job or college etc.

Stop ragging/bullying: Check your school's policy on bullying. Stand up to your measures and avoid unnecessary fighting.

Help mentally challenged students: There can be formation of pages and circles through which information can be readily shared and thus can help the needy.

Enhance network: The greatest power of social media is network enhancement. Students should utilize it to have more and more circles and networks of peers, experts, colleagues, etc. Which will help in the development of their overall thinking.

Don’ts For Students:

Posting Illegal Activities- Looking cool and maintaining ‘image’ in front of other students can sometime be more hazardous than it seems. Granted, high school and college students experiment with many activities. But, any post relating to any illegal activities can ruin your academic career. Even if your profile is has full privacy settings on, a friend can always download some very incriminating photos that he/she or the authorities can use against you in the future.

Bullying: Bullying is one of the most serious problems in schools today. Objectionable situations and hateful words amongst students often lead to violence, suicide, depression and discrimination.

Result, the student may turn to social media, blogs or any such online space as a forum for hurtful speeches; of which the risks are dangerous. Not only does that student face expulsion, but also serious criminal prosecution for both the parties.

Trashing Your Teachers: The most common use of students on social network is trashing their teachers. Bullying doesn't just apply to student-to-student interactions. Students who speak trash for their teachers (or post embarrassing photos of them) run a huge risk, too. After all, the instructors have a right to privacy and respect.

Posting Objectionable Content From School Computers or Networks: Schools have implemented systems that track logins and IP addresses so, you must never ever dream of posting something from a “public” network thinking it will not lead back to you. Many schools prohibit all computer activity on campus not directly related to coursework. That almost always includes social media use, especially that which is objectionable (e.g.profanity, harassment, etc.). 

Confidential Information posts: This piece of advice is for every social media user, not just students. Since, young people are especially vulnerable to online predators and identity thieves. “They” know how to tempt the youth and get their account and other personal details.

Lie/Cheat/Plagiarize: Imagine aScenario; you have convinced your professor to give you an extension on your term paper because of your "not so feeling well" grandmother. Instead, you went to attend a music concert and posted a status update on Facebook, and uploaded a photo of the performance toInstagram . The consequences are no need to be written down. Any flying word in the ears of teachers and you can imagine a big “f” on your score-card.

The same goes for lying about professional/academic achievements when applying to a college or an internship. Investigation of your social media for charges of plagiarism or cheating is very common for many employers today.

Threaten Violence: Social media is not the place to vent your frustrations and violent thoughts. Recently there has been an alarming rise in this based on caste, creed, colour, etc. Threatening a person or group of people in any situation is a serious offense. Even posting an anonymous, empty threat online, can have serious consequences.

Never Rely on Privacy Settings 100%: Although most major social networks update regularly improves privacy settings, the changes are sometimes too frequent to follow and can get complicated. However “smartly” you protect your social media identity, it's best to assume anything you post can potentially be seen by your school administration, by your parents and by strangers.

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About the Author
Author: kumar snehansuWebsite: https://www.facebook.com/kumarsnehansu
An enthusiastic reader, thinker and analyst. He loves music, and novels and of course coffee. You can contact me on- kumarsnehansu at gmail dot com

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