In our daily interactions, teachers need to consider their commitment to learners, parents, families and the wider community and the profession of teaching. In this digital age of learning, social media has become an effective tool for teachers to interact, engage and communicate with learners and wider audiences. Teachers are becoming more aware of the impact of their words, deeds and actions on social media platforms, and the need for transparency and consistency between their personal and professional online identities.
However, we are still learning the social rules, etiquette, responsibility and consequences that accompany the use of social media and the impact of blurred boundaries between our personal and professional online personas.
Teachers who role model good use of social media will help to develop communities of learners who apply positive and respectful values in their interactions with others on social media platforms.
The previous New Zealand Teachers Council recommended in 2013 that teachers consider these practical guidelines before sharing views and opinions on social media platforms:
1. Maintain appropriate boundaries
2. Be respectful and take into account
• the views and opinions of your colleagues, learners, and parents/guardians
• the privacy of those involved in your groups and the things you share
3. Be clear about
• the purpose of your interactions via social media
• the purpose and lifespan of online spaces you set up for teaching and learning purposes
• situations where you need to seek agreement from learners, colleagues and parents/guardians
4. Be open to learning by
• taking advantage of the knowledge and expertise of your colleagues
• seeking guidance from a professional leader as soon as you have a concern
5. Be aware of how persistent and shareable your posts are
6. Be responsible and role model for your learners and colleagues by
• being transparent and upfront about your online identity
• owning the content you create
• keeping your own privacy settings up to date and appropriate
7. Attend to copyright issues
Check out this great infographic from Copyblogger that traces a timeline of social media.
(Information correct at date of publication, June 2013)
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