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Schools and Facebook: the importance of creating a fair use policy

By on Jan 24, 2012 in Social

The Guardian recently published a thought-provoking article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/23/teacher-misconduct-cases-facebook

Schools and Facebook

Schools and Facebook: striking the right balance.

Essentially, the stories are told of a few teachers who have been reprimanded or even dismissed as a result of indiscriminate activity on their Facebook accounts (and other social networks). This article makes for interesting reading and provides a very useful departure point when it comes to establishing a Fair Use policy for Facebook and other social media sites. While social networks offer an unrivalled platform for communicating information and maintaining relationships, the key factor to consider in this kind of relationship is common sense: is this communication wise? Unfortunately, people have very different ideas regarding what constitutes “wise” conversations, and can easily get themselves and others into trouble.

When it comes to social media policies, particularly in schools, here are some very general guidelines that may prove useful:

DO:

DON’T

The simple fact is that social media is here to stay. This is the way people communicate now, and whether we like it or not, restricting access completely will ultimately do more harm than good. Even so, we can exercise discretion and wisdom, maximising the potential benefits while minimising or, better yet, eliminating the potential pitfalls.

This “Do’s and Don’t’s” list is far from exhaustive. It is useful to do the research and create a fair use policy that will work in your particular scenario. Should you need any assistance, contact us to start the process of establishing your school’s policy.

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