General Guidelines for Teacher-Created Communication
Whether it’s email, texting, social networking tools, blogging or something else online, there are some general things to keep in mind: Items posted or uploaded to the web will live forever. Deleting will not guarantee your privacy AT ALL. Comments, pictures, texts, etc. can be shared. They can also be saved as screenshots, both on a smart phone and on a computer. Those screenshots can be shared. Here’s an example of texts between me and my husband -- sorry, nothing juicy …
Know your school system’s Social Media policy and what it does and does not allow you to do. No private communication with students. That includes texts and phone calls! Sharing student or parent names (without parental permission, of course) is a bad idea, especially if the information is sensitive in nature. School accounts, also, are potentially subject to open records requests from the press. This is not the venue to describe Brittany X’s mom as a “crazy” parent in email… Do not make any derogatory statements about students or parents EVER.
Task Visit the Wayback Machine and do the following:Wayback Machine Read the column on the left that describes what the Wayback Machine can do. Under the search box for the Wayback Machine, type in fcps.net and click the Take Me Back box.
Refrain from criticizing your administrators, school or district. If you wouldn’t say it in person, it’s not safe to do so digitally. Does what you post raise questions about your moral character? Can what you’re sharing be misconstrued or misunderstood? If so, don’t post …
The latest from CarlyCrunkBear (@Crunk_Bear). Crunker than most. Stay sexy. Stay high. Stay drunk. Stay free. Stay trippy. ✌❤. Mile High City.
Everyone is NOT your friend. Unless you are 100% confident in every friend, etc. you share things with, always think before you post. Execute Order 66 Use privacy controls on social media! However, always remember that 100% privacy can not be guaranteed.
Task I place fairly strong privacy controls on my Facebook Page. If you have a Facebook account, click on the link below to see what you are able to access as a “non-friend.” http://www.facebook.com/paula.setser Scroll down the page, though, and notice what happens if you don’t add privacy settings to all photographs.
Keep in mind that just because your own social media page may be set to private, your comments on other pages may not be.
Rethink posting, tweeting, sending etc. during work hours, unless the communication is school- related. Your comments on public issues can become a problem if it interferes with your ability to do your job at school.
Don’t friend students from personal accounts. Make use of group or fan pages. Consult with your principal or superior about setting up accounts that will interact with students. For social media used for school purposes with students or parents, share logins and passwords with your administrator and two other adults in the building. That way there’s no question about private communication with students. Be transparent and open in what you do. Be aware of Social News Apps and what information they may be sharing about you with others.
Task Read this brief article on Social News Apps. http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/social_reader_privacy_facebo ok.php?page=all
Students have impersonated educators and their families on: Pedophile websites Neo Nazi websites And more … Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/23/bullying-teachers-more-damaging-in-online-era-experts- say/#ixzz2NTK2PjMB
What can you do? Take steps to protect yourself from what others are saying or sharing about you. Familiarize yourself with social media so that you understand how these tools work. Set your Facebook and other social media settings to control what others share (tag) about you. Sign up for Google Alerts to receive email notifications when your name pops up in the news.
Task: Google Alert Sign up here (http://www.google.com/alerts) for your own Google Alert.herehttp://www.google.com/alerts Enter your name as the search query. If you use an online alias, create an alert for that, too. Change How Many to All Results. Decide your frequency of notifications (the older your students are, the more often you may want them)
What do you do if students are using the Internet to threaten, embarrass, or defame you; steal your identity; or invade your privacy? Don't respond to the attackers. Notify your administrator. If you are a member of a professional teaching organization, such as KEA, contact your UniServ consultant. Keep copies of all emails, postings and profiles. If you're the victim of a faked Facebook profile or WordPress blog, contact those providers through their websites. They have a specific link for educators to do this. Ask them to remove the site. If you're the victim of threatening emails, contact the Internet service provider from which the emails originated, such as Yahoo.
Here’s an example of Formspring’s support page for teachers. Source: https://formspringme.zendesk.com/entries/20927426- teachers-faqhttps://formspringme.zendesk.com/entries/20927426- teachers-faq
Conclusion Using digital tools and social media can be a wonderful experience, one that can enhance classroom instruction. It just pays, though, to be smart and aware about what we say and do online so that we can protect our professional reputations.