Tag: Schools

How Does Social Media Impact Schools?


Our society is making major changes every day, and social media is dictating some of these changes and is influencing how our society operates. As a result, whatever changes we see in society will have a definite impact on what happens in our schools. To run effectively, schools cannot ignore these societal changes. That’s why our students and staff need to develop positive experiences with social media usage in our schools. Schools and school districts that decide to embrace social media are utilizing new technology to inform, educate, and prepare students and staff for the 21st century.

Each school year the following question will have to be answered: What if a student or staff member is using their personal social media account off school property in a negative, inappropriate, or confrontational manner that has an impact on the staff or students? Additionally, does this usage impact the student’s ability to learn at school or impact the educational day? If it does, then the school should have the right to investigate and issue appropriate consequences. This is an important problem that has impacted schools from all over the world. It is vital that our schools address this problem in their student code or face the possibility of students, staff members, or both disrupting the school.

In an effort to be pro-active, schools and school districts have decided to prevent problems from occurring by teaching students the proper way to use social media. Schools are now showing their students how social media can be used to collaborate on school projects, find summer jobs, participate in online chats, discuss books read in class, share and receive positive information on the school’s Facebook page, keep up with what’s happening around the world, do research, share successful educational stories, secure classroom information, etc. Teachers can use Twitter accounts to send homework assignments to students, provide classroom information for students, and have classroom discussions. By embracing social media, schools are empowering their students to communicate more with their classmates, which will develop a stronger community of learners.

School employees should have procedures in place for how they use social media in an effort to monitor how educators use their personal and school accounts to interact with students. Schools should consider employees using their personal accounts to communicate with students as inappropriate and as grounds for termination. While this might sound harsh, sometimes staff using their personal accounts with students can lead to the appearance of an inappropriate relationship. In particular, staff members should never have a student’s pictures posted on their Facebook. These concerns should be addressed at the first staff meeting of the school year, and staff members should sign an agreement that the school’s social media account be used for teaching purposes only and not for reaching out to students.

Overall, schools know there is a lot of abuse involved with the use of social media, but research has shown that schools that take the time to educate their staff and students on the proper usage are developing a community of learning that will be productive in the 21st century


Social Media Monitoring by Schools


As if the citizens of the US were not already over monitored by Internet companies, advertisers, phone companies, employers, authorities, cable companies, and oh yes those smart meters, it seems they are starting in on our kids too. Children are being introduced to surveillance on social networks and don’t seem to understand the problem, which makes sense, and by the time they grow up, they will have never lived in a time period that didn’t know everything they did.

In walks 1984, Gatica, Minority Report and Vannevar Bush’s concept of “recording a life” or life-log (read about Bell Labs and his concept). In the near future you don’t just have to worry about your smart phone spying on you, your car will too, every single device you own to simple your life will give away your every move. Your life is hereby recorded, deal with it? Now then, about our children, some say they shouldn’t expect privacy, and since they’ve never known it, why should they even care. Well, that’s just it, not only do they not care, they are growing old enough to vote.

Now then, there was an interesting privacy issue that came to my attention, yes, another one, an article titled; “California school district hires firm to monitor students’ social media,” by Michael Martinez, published on CNN on September 15, 2013. The school is doing this to prevent bullying, but I imagine in the future it will be used to see who posts during school hours to catch kids doing that, or even who logs in during school hours, from there it’s going to be a pre-conditioned reality of the next up and coming generation that “the authorities” have a right to look at your social media, and are at all times.

Judging by the movements of law enforcement, FBI, NSA, that’s already happening, your privacy no longer exists, how does that make you feel? Anyway, just think now in the event you are innocent yet suspected crime, all that surveillance is proof you didn’t do it. But if you do have tendencies to misbehaver those social media posts can convict you, be used against you or as I said, in some rare cases be used to prove you were not there and didn’t do it.

Some parents are saying they like the idea of the school checking up on their kids, why? Well, so they don’t have too, which means they are giving up some of their parenting responsibilities to the state (so to speak, actually just the school for now) but this is problematic because we already have a problem with parenting in our country. But that my friends is for another topic and article. Until then, please consider all this and think on it.