Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Social Media Policy

I just got done writing my Social Media Policy parent letter.  This is the first time I have attempted to write it myself, so I admit I borrowed a lot of the lingo already out there on the web and personalized it for my needs.  That is what teaching is right?


Social Media Guidelines
Parent Permission Form for Student Participation
Mrs. Diaz’s Scholars 2011-2012


Dear Parents:

This year, to help our students develop their reading and writing skills as well as cultivate our understanding of different people and cultures; our students are participating in using a variety of social media applications (blogs, wikis, podcasts) via the Internet. When students are able to safely share their ideas with an audience broader than just our classroom, often they can discover their voice and become even more motivated to learn, communicate and share their ideas effectively with others.

Often we hear negative stories in the mainstream media about the ways young people use the Internet and social media websites. One of the reasons we are participating in some collaborative social media projects this year is to help our students learn through experiences, ways to safely use the Internet to share information and collaborate. I am writing to let you know what we are planning to do, and to obtain your permission for your child to participate.

Planned Activities: We are planning to use several different social media tools to let our students safely share their work and ideas with other students as well as with our school community. (You!)  A description of each one and how we will use it is outlined below:

  1. Class Blog (www.5thgradeorange.blogspot.com) – This class blog will be used to post content such as pictures or videos of individual or group student work or classroom projects, and will usually include short descriptions of learning activities.  Our intended audience is parents, and other classrooms around the world we are connecting and sharing with this year.  This blog will be monitored by me and all content will be carefully screened to be sure to protect student privacy. All comments on the blog are monitored by me as well and inappropriate content will be removed immediately.
  2. Edmodo (www.edmodo.com) – This online educational social networking website is administrated and monitored by me.  All students will have a user name and password and will be given access to join our discussion group.  The purpose of this tool is to connect directly and privately with other classes during the Global Read Aloud project.  We will also use it as a class forum to connect with each other outside of normal school hours. Only members who are given a code can join our group, and students cannot join other groups without being invited by a teacher.
  3. Twitter (@mrsdiazclass) – Our class is using twitter to share what we are doing in our classroom with parents and other selected classrooms around the world.  Most likely this will be used to alert our audience that there is something we would like to share on our class blog. Our twitter account is monitored by me and only approved classrooms or parents will be allowed to follow us on twitter.
  4. Student Blogs (www.kidblog.org) – Kidblog is a blogging website for kids. We will be using it to journal topics assigned by me.  Usual topics include response to literature for the novel we are working on.  Each student will have their own blog page, a user name and password.  All use is strictly monitored by me and the intended audience is our classmates and me, although parents may also access the blog.
  5. YouTube (www.youtube.com) – We will be making and uploading videos to YouTube to embed on our class blog. Our account is private, and our videos will not be searchable.  Access will be restricted to those who have the direct link.
  6. Skype (www.skype.com) – Our class will use Skype from time to time to video conference with other classes, professionals, experts, or authors during the year to enhance our learning experiences.

Safety Concerns
Our projects may be shared privately with other classes over the Internet and with parents, and also may be shared publicly on the Internet. To protect student privacy and ensure safety throughout all projects we will:
  1. Only use student first names, if names are used at all, in identifying student work and ideas.
  2. Never identify pictures of individual students or groups of students.
  3. Not intentionally post any identifying personal student or school information on any social media tools.
  4. Will read and follow the Acceptable Use Policy, whether at home or at school when using any social media tools.
  5. Remove any content at a parent’s request until such time as it is re-evaluated for any safety concerns that may arise.

If you have questions about our projects please contact me. I am happy to discuss the topic and your concerns until you are satisfied that we are using technology safely and purposefully for educational activities that enhance our curriculum. In addition, I will be in contact with you with specific to share links to specific projects as we create them!  If at any time you are not comfortable about an online activity, you should share your concerns immediately so that I can re-evaluate or modify it as soon as possible.

Please complete, sign and return the bottom of this form to me as soon as possible. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

______  YES, my child has my permission to participate in teacher-moderated, Internet-based social media projects and the planned collaborative activities outlined here.

______  YES, I give permission for my child’s work and ideas to be posted on our class blog and other social media tools.

______  YES, I give permission for my child’s pictures, or videos to be posted on our class blog and other social media tools.

______  NO, my child does not have permission to participate in these activities.


Date: ______


Student Name: ____________________________         Student Signature: ___________________


Parent Name: _____________________________     Parent Signature: ____________________

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