Task:  Investigate the appropriate use of technology or social networking policies that apply in your situation as a student or teacher.  As a teacher, you want to be sure that you know and understand them before asking your students to engage in certain online activities.  

Share your thoughts (a few ideas listed below)

  • Please identify your perspective (student, teacher, administrator, parent, etc.)
  • How do you feel about the policies in place?  
  • What limitations do they place on you (or your students)?  
  • What would need to change in order to help you feel that you were providing or experiencing a more authentic learning opportunity?  
  • Are there policies in place that actually promote social networking or the integration of technology into your classroom that would be worth sharing?
  • How do the policies impact authentic teaching and learning about your digital footprint?

Views: 288

Replies to This Discussion

I'm a school librarian and last year I went round and round with the district tech administrator because they wouldn't unblock the state library link so students could use the public library databases. Another example of limitations was the time I requested access to biography.com for a 5th grade biography research project. I got approval and access to the webpage 3 months after the fact. I'm afraid the use of social media like Tweeter is out of the question...

Maybe change would happen if teachers and librarians coordinated lesson plans and social networking technology and presented them to district administrators.

When I taught AP American History and created a facebook page (blocked at school) for the class, my students loved it, used it and made contributions.

  • I am a former high school teacher in an independent school, and our policy was very vague: "appropriate use" was required, no profanity, etc. -- pretty mild.  In my view, those policies were not limiting enough!  Students knew how to work around our web blocker and would openly Facebook at school.
  • I think that, in response, many of the teachers eschewed all forms of online interaction and instruction (except for linking to YouTube videos from time to time).  So it's ironic that the loosey-goosey acceptable use policy at our school resulted (I think) in less digital learning and Web 2.0 use by teachers.  
  • Teacher instruction in modern educational technology and the +'s/-'s of same is key.  We need more teachers on board with edtech so that we can make it safer for our students, because once teachers are present online, they will be more alert to the challenges and even dangers that students face.

I am a teacher of English at a college in Chile. Technologies are very useful for teaching English especially in a Spanish speaking country like mine.   

I am not sure about the policies where I work, but the worst problem is not to have the technology available when you need to use it.  

I think that the way technologies where   I work do not promote networking or collaboration, and they have a negative impact on authentic learning. 

As a Technology Coordinator/Teacher/IT I find it difficult to write, keep up to date our policy on technology use, misuse, responsibilities (admin, staff, and students).  The policy is updated once a year, this sometimes limit the use of new technologies, applications, and equipment.  To change this I would like to see teachers take a more active roll in helping write the policy and that the policy be updated during the year as needed. 


School wide filtering of sites has limited some of the authentic learning.  Being a teacher as well as the IT person allows me to understand that teachers and administrators should be the ones deciding what is appropriate for their class.  That being said teachers MUST be held responsible for their decisions and take responsibility to learn what needs to done for digital safety of their students.

I am a classroom teacher, teaching primarily technology-based courses.  We have some sites blocked - Facebook, and I have found Mightybell and Student 2.0 are also blocked at school.  I have found that there are pros and cons to these (and other) sites being blocked.  It can be a huge distraction in the classroom as students don't want to miss anything happening online.  But I do feel that these sites are being used outside of school by our students, so we should teach appropriate use.  We are changing how we teach, and heading to a more online environment via Edmodo and Moodle.  I think it is just a matter of time when students will have access to social networking sites at school.  I am hoping to incorporate a lesson on digital footprints using Moodle in the fall.  Because students will be able to complete the lesson away from our high school, they should be able to more completely understand what a digital footprint is and how they contribute to that in a positive and/or negative way.  

Hello, I am Asli. I am an EFL teacher and I teach English for academic purposes at the tertiary level in Turkey. My students are aged between 18-24. My school is very keen on blended learning and integrating educational technologies into teaching. All students and teachers are given laptops and there is IT personnel to assist teachers. But concepts of "being a digital citizen" and "leaving smart digital footprints" as well as "a comprehensive instructional design to aid teachers and students" are still far fetched. There is a transition towards being more tech-savy and acquisiton of technological pedagogical content knowledge (how to use tech to meet the learning needs) but it is slow. There is a basic framework which encompasses; "we should be respectful towards copyrights", "no plagiarism" but no specific tiemly and consistently implemented plan/ curriculum which would hellp learners to have digital literacy skills.

Currently, I am not in a school, but I have heard perspectives from various teachers around the country. I can understand both perspectives. School administration doesn't want the liability of students having access to negative influences on the Internet; therefore,so much is blocked. However, doesn't saying "No" make one more curious? Are the same restrictions at home? Teaching students to take responsibility is a great lesson that should be modeled by teachers to help students handle the use of the Internet wherever they are. 

My school has an open policy. We allow our students access to YouTube, facebook if they have it, whatever. I love it. My job, though, is to teach them the appropriate time to use digital tools. I encourage my students to place their phones on top of their desks so there is no sneaking around texting or whatever.  It is all about teaching respect and being appropriate. 

I am a retired educator and administrator and currently doing freelance education consulting work. I try to follow state-level policy updates as they are released. Last week, our state released its digital footprint that details the technology specifications all schools must follow by 2014-15. The footprint includes the technology itself-bandwidth, 5 to 1 computer ratio, etc. However, it does not address specifics about social media. There are technology standards, but again these are vague in the social media area. Most of these decisions are left up to respective district school systems. Most systems do not allow cell phones, etc. on campus, and social media is not openly used. Incorporating social media in the classroom will require much education on all levels. Emphasis on child abusers and pornography through the Web is high, so protective measures are to avoid social media. With that said, because technology progresses so rapidly, perhaps new developments will soon provide classroom access to social media that will be more secure.

From a teacher's perspective, I think we have a fairly well-written AUP.  It does put the responsibility for good digital citizenship squarely on the students' shoulders.  That being said, we are also trained as teachers to monitor student computer use closely, screen web material before use with students, and report issues immediately to our tech support and/or administrators (depending on the situation).  We are limited in our use of social media; I know Facebook is filtered out, but I'm unsure about Twitter or sites such as edublogs.  Other than those limitations, we are encouraged to use technology in the classroom, and it is part of our professional appraisal system.  Most of the technology use seems to be in "closed" or sheltered spaces, such as teacher-screened websites, use of interactive whiteboards, document cameras, and software applications.  Without the opportunities to explore more open, social use of technology, it is difficult to model and teach appropriate use. 

I am a computer literacy teacher in an upper elementary school. I am fairly new at this, was a keyboarding teacher for 10 years and became the district's one and only computer lit teacher. Digital citizenship seems to be the part of my curriculum I keep adding to, tweaking, and revising, but like I said, I have a lot to learn as well. We have an Acceptable Use Policy, one that was floating around in my district and I revised to fit my classroom but it is just a piece of paper that seems to go home to parents, get signed and then forgotten. It's up to administrators to actually enforce the policy, but I don't feel that the AUP is used to enforce the policy. My students are held responsible for following the AUP in my classroom but if negative issues develop outside of the classroom or the school, is it our responsibility to intervene?

Of course my classroom and our district has many blocked sites the kids can not go on, and at times it hinders our lesson, but I think that the variety of digital activities my students engage in are positive and my students are proud of.

I am a technology integration specialist in my district. We are a large district with 9 of us on the iTeam (integration team). I work directly with two middle schools. We are fortunate as a district that we have leaders who are willing to forge forward in our learning in the 21st century. We have Facebook, YouTube, MightBell, as well as most other sites, open for teacher and student use. We rewrote our district AUP and User Responsibilities last year and are again revising those to include BYOT. The most challenging area is teaching students the importance of their creating positive digital footprints and being a part of a positive online experience for all people and students. On the the side of the teachers and some admin the challenge has been letting go of the fact that just because they are not completely comfortable with all web 2.0 sites, doesn't mean they should not let go and let students explore those sites. As educators we need to direct students in responsible and appropriate use of the internet.


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