Friday, August 30, 2013

The Power of Social Media

L.A. Unified School District is Keeping Tabs on the Social Media Use of its Employees

By now, we're all aware of the power of social media. It can be a source of good in a variety ways, from being a guide to new information, to being a powerful globally-recognized social organizing tool.

L.A. Unified School District's Social Media Policies
But sometimes social media can be a source of disruption....for school districts.

Recently, the Los Angeles Unified School District's bulletin regarding their standards for social media use of their employees, including of their teachers and educators, has come under attack by some, and has been praised by others.

A sampling of the policies can be found below:

"1. Keep personal social network accounts separate from work related
accounts. When a student or minor wishes to link to an employee’s
personal social networking site, redirect them to the school approved
website. Accepting invitations to non-school related social networking sites
from parents, students or alumni under the age of 18 is strongly
discouraged, and on a case-by-case basis, may be prohibited by the site
administrator. (BUL – 5167.0, Code of Conduct with Students –
Distribution and Dissemination Requirement Policy)

2. Any employee or associated person engaging in inappropriate conduct
including the inappropriate use of social media sites during or after school
hours may be subject to discipline.

3. Never post any identifying student information including names, videos and
photographs on any school-based, personal or professional online forum or
social networking website, without the written, informed consent of the
child’s parent/legal guardian and the principal.

4. Never share confidential or privileged information about students or
personnel (e.g., grades, attendance records, or other pupil/personnel record
information).

5. Users should have no expectation of privacy regarding their use of District
property, network and/or Internet access to files, including email. The
District reserves the right to monitor users’ online activities and to access,
review, copy, and store or delete any electronic communication or files
and/or disclose them to others as it deems necessary. [Refer to BUL –999.4,
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) For District Computer Systems]

6. Posting inappropriate threatening, harassing, racist, biased, derogatory,
disparaging or bullying comments toward or about any student, employee,
or associated person on any website is prohibited and may be subject to
discipline."

To read the full bulletin, click here.

Do you agree with the district's stance? Do you think these policies will help to create a more peaceful environment for all involved? Does your district have similar policies?

Please join us in this conversation!

To learn more about this issue, read the articles surrounding it in The Huffington Post and LA Weekly.

Don't forget to vote for Julie Evans' panel (Project Tomorrow's CEO) at the SXSWEdu conference! Click the webtile below for more information.


Register for Speak Up 2013 before the long weekend ahead!

Have a great Labor Day weekend! Enjoy!

- The Project Tomorrow team